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.