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Hibbert said he will speak up in future, demand to be in game at end

May 23, 2013, 10:47 AM EDT

Roy Hibbert AP

Pacers coach Frank Vogel had his reasoning — the Heat with their small lineup had five guys who can shoot from the perimeter so he wanted to match that with a small lineup that could switch everything. Twice in the last 10.8 seconds he pulled the 7’2” rim-defending center and went small with Tyler Hansbrough and Sam Young.

Twice, LeBron James got to the rim for lay-ups. And now Miami is up 1-0 in the series.

Speaking at his locker after the game, Hibbert said he is not going sit quietly next time the coach suggests he sit at a key moment, he told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

“I’ve grown as a player, this is my fifth year and maybe I need to start talking up more,” Hibbert told Yahoo! Sports in the losing locker room. “They pay me [max-contract money] for a reason.

“I didn’t say anything, and I wish I did. From now on, I need to speak up.”

Vogel simply overthought this. Hibbert has flaws defensively and part of Indiana’s system is built to hide those while playing to his strengths near the rim. Miami can make that difficult because even their center Chris Bosh can knock down an 18-footer consistently.

Coaches too often focus on what a player can’t do and overlook what they can do well — Hibbert might well have gotten exposed on a switch and let Bosh get a good look at a midrange jumper — but if he had been in Sam Young’s spot on the floor he would have recovered in time to at least make LeBron alter his final shot. And obviously even an open Bosh jumper is a LeBron lay-up.

Hibbert knows that, too. And he learned a hard lesson about speaking up when it’s time.

  1. gbpxlvi - May 23, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    Bron would have gotten the foul call

    • brutl - May 23, 2013 at 12:03 PM

      With the way this game was being called he would have gotten the foul call.
      The offensive foul call.

      • dangernearing - May 23, 2013 at 1:50 PM

        Spare me the ‘ LeBron got no calls BS. For once this year he refereed fairly and equally to his peers. Crawl back in your hole

    • hehateme2 - May 23, 2013 at 3:39 PM

      LeBron can also dunk on him….. done it before. HEAT in 5

  2. waynegretsky77 - May 23, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    It does not matter.Heat woulod have still won. Pacers are choke artists like last year. Same team, same crap.

  3. jayrandle - May 23, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    This is way overblown…
    In 2 seconds you need a smaller athelic line up that can rotate, switch, and recover on defense.

    Please understand if Hibbert was in the game…they would have put Bosh on the corner at the 3 point line anyway to draw Hibbert away from Lebron. And in 2 seconds Hibbert would not been able to play recover help defense on Lebron.
    People act like they was going to put Bosh side by side next to Lebron so that Hibbert would have been right there at the right time to alter his shot.

    The fact remains Lebron played that very well and George got thrown off by Ray Allen movement.

    A flat footed slow moving center in that situation…most coaches would have went with the smaller lineup and if you watch most close end of NBA games they normally put in their best athelic line up including an athelic big man which Hibbert is not.

    • dangernearing - May 23, 2013 at 1:51 PM

      Says the Heat Cheerleader

    • pistolpete0903 - May 23, 2013 at 2:57 PM

      Bosh hitting a jumper from the corner 3. I would have left him open (admitted that Bosh can make it, but it is still a low % shot as compared to James driving to the rim with no center). I hope people remember from the NBA finals a couple of years ago, the value of Tyson Chandler (OK he is slightly quicker than Hibbert) as the paint patrol guy
      No matter how you spin it, Vogel got it wrong.

  4. trublazer - May 23, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    I don’t care what’s prototypical at the end of NBA games… the Pacer played very good def against LBJ (despite a triple double- dude is that great) w/Hibbert in the line up. the possession before the final one, Hibbert was out and LBJ had a cupcake match up on the switch, lay up- game tied. next trip we all know what happen.. I rather live with Bosh taking a open deep 2 or 3 than LBJ tying and winning he game on easy drives to the basket.. at least w/Hibbert in there.. there is a def presence. and he played very well. tough lose

    • jayrandle - May 23, 2013 at 2:16 PM

      You missing the point…
      Hibbert can not be in the paint to be a defensive presence if he is guarding Bosh
      who is on the 3 point line…
      If he attempts to be in the paint while his man is on the 3 point line that would be illegal defense
      which is foul.

      The point is that Hibbert would not be quick or athletic enough to move and provide help defense in 2 seconds…
      Which is the main reason why Vogel did not include Hibbert in the game at the time.

      Its a game of X’s and O’s but also a game of match ups.

  5. captainwisdom8888 - May 23, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    Hindsight is ALWAYS 20/20

    How easy is it to say that Vogel’s decision was wrong AFTER IT HAD ALREADY FAILED? It’s simple human nature to place blame on something or someone for a loss, it makes us feel better when we can attribute failure to a specific singular something. Vogel benching Hibbert was not THE reason the Pacers lost…the 2 teams played a whole game that contributed to the final result of who won and lost.

    I bet Lebron could have easily finished the game in a similar manner had Hibbert actually been on the floor…he’s just that good.

  6. nard100 - May 23, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    I think it’s awesome that the coach who proclaimed the Heat as the “Next team in our way”, choked when it counted the most. I also think it’s awesome that the player he was most afraid of wasn’t Lebron, but the guy Hibbert was supposed to rule over, Chris Bosh. Heat in 6.

  7. lemfaxx - May 23, 2013 at 4:47 PM

    They lost not because of george defense or vogels decsision. They lost because LBJ made the final shot.

  8. badgerbuck - May 23, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    Here is my beef with this whole play.why the hell when teams call time outs after a basket,do they get the ball at three quarter court. Inbound the ball behind on the baseline like in college. Why reward a team for calling a time out,that play never would have happened if they would use the college rules.totally stupid what the nba does sometimes makes no sence.

  9. jadaruler - May 23, 2013 at 10:00 PM

    Paul George’s bad defense at the end is being overlooked. He gave up the lane and made it too easy for Lebron. If he played off of him a little its a contested jumper instead of a layup.

  10. jmet11 - May 24, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    @badgerbuck they do that because every rule favors setting up a dramatic play.. More dramatic endings=more money

  11. trimaster1 - May 24, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    The Heat had 60 points in the paint via quite a few dunks from Birdman as well as layups from Wade & LBJ. How effective was Hibbert again?

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