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Did the words of John Thompson III help break Hibbert out of his slump?

May 8, 2014, 3:35 PM EDT

One game is not enough, if Roy Hibbert has fully broken out of his slump — as it appeared Wednesday night when he dropped 28 points on the Wizards and sparked a Game 2 Pacers win — he will have to do it more than once.

But if he has broken out, Pacers fans may want to thanks his old Georgetown coach.

John Thompson III joined the crew from Comcast Sportsnet Washington to talk about the series and the coach said he flew to Indiana to meet with his former star center and offer some words of advice before Game 2.

“I think the main thing is just letting him know we’re here for him. He has been struggling, he’s been beat up, he is not playing well, and I think the main thing, I wanted to sit down in my own way and remind Roy that he’s still Roy. And to make sure he remembers who he was. And I think he got the message.

“That’s code for what I really said to him.”

After the game Thompson deflected the idea that his words changed things, suggesting the Pacers started using Hibbert properly.

“He was playing at a level he had to snap out of it at some point, it was not anything I said to him, he just came around….

“Well they gave (the ball) to him. It’s the first time in a while where he touched the ball consistently early in the game, which got him feeling good about himself, which carried over throughout the game….

“Early in the game he got touches, early in the game they gave it to him, early in the game he felt good about himself because he was getting the ball, and think that has to happen. IF they give him the ball, if he gets touches and they get movement, good things happen.”

We’ll see if Hibbert can sustain this (he’s had good games before during this slump, only to revert again). If so, Frank Vogel may owe Thompson big.

Wizards fans, many of whom are fans of Georgetown, feel free to be conflicted.

  1. dollasnsense - May 8, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    Doesn’t bode well for Frank Vogel if Thompson III could get through to Hibbert but he couldn’t…

    • john242322 - May 8, 2014 at 4:22 PM

      Not true. Hibby has a different relationship with Thompson III than he does Frank. Just because Hibby has been in a slump doesn’t mean it’s Frank’s fault for not being able to get him out of it. Mental instability by the big man

  2. smoothaswilkes - May 8, 2014 at 4:47 PM

    Which is it that lead to Hibbert’s rebound? A pep talk from JT3 or Bynum leaving the team? I can’t keep all these reasons straight.

    • apkyletexas - May 8, 2014 at 8:58 PM

      Thompson said “Roy, you are taller than everyone. Get closer to the basket and shoot over their heads”.

      True story. I was standing right next to them.

  3. azarkhan - May 8, 2014 at 4:52 PM

    LOL. I think it was the release of Andrew Bynum. Besides, if Thompson’s words are so magical, he should have talked to Hibbert a month ago.

  4. bballhistorian - May 8, 2014 at 5:50 PM

    Most big men are mentally unstable.

    They have to be fed the ball in order to be truly effective in the game.

    That said, JT3 was right when stating that the Pacers werent using him right. As a matter of fact, most NBA teams dont have a great big man (like in decades past), so teams play in the small-ball (or outside-in) mentality, instead of the inside-out which teams with great big men should be playing.

    • redbaronx - May 8, 2014 at 6:55 PM

      @bballhistorian – “most big men are mentally unstable”? Are you a psychiatrist now? Where did you get that gem of unfounded insight?

  5. bballhistorian - May 8, 2014 at 5:54 PM

    Im not really a fan of Shaq’s commentary on TNT….EXCEPT when he talks about big men and how they should be played. I think he’s spot on with most of his observations about big men, and the one thing he always says is that the big man needs “touches” to be effective.

    Can you imagine players like Hakeem, Shaq, Ewing, Duncan, David Robinson, Kareem, Wilt not getting “enough touches”? Im not saying Hibbert is on their level, but he is an all-star.

  6. haaaaasoooooo - May 8, 2014 at 9:48 PM

    And Paul apologized? Well, at least it wasn’t his mom…..Delonte got ran out of Cleveland for that BS move.

    • john242322 - May 9, 2014 at 11:18 AM

      Paul had nothing to apologize for

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