Don’t poke the bear, Wizards fans.
Actually, you may well not get another chance to poke the Pacers because one of your own, a heckler, got under Roy Hibbert’s skin in Game 4 and motivated his game.
For the better part of three quarters on Sunday Hibbert was a non-factor and the Wizards had a comfortable 14 point lead. Then in the final 3:35 of the third quarter Hibbert scored 9 of the Wizards next 11 points and sparked a run that made it a game again. A game the Pacers ultimately won to take a 3-1 lead.
“He woke me up,” Hibbert said in the Pacers locker room. “He said I was tired. He was saying a lot of obscenities. I’m a God fearing man so I’m not going into saying what he was saying…He got me going and I let him hear [me].”
How much of that is true and how much of that was just Hibbert feeling more comfortable and finding his groove is up to you to decide.
A whole lot of NBA players use what people say about them as motivation — author Roland Lazenby recently said on the PBT Podcast Michael Jordan used to make stuff up then get mad about it to motivate himself. Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett and others operate in pretty much in that same mold.
Maybe some Pacers fans should heckle Hibbert before Game 5, just to make sure he’s ready to go and the Pacers got a win.