67RIEFNS No. 33: Emotional swings of Roy Hibbert


The NBA is full of talent, personality and suspense. During the offseason, It’s easy to forget how wonderful the league can be. So, I’ve assembled 67 Reasons I’m Excited For Next Season (67RIEFNS). They’ll be presented in no particular order.

At times, Roy Hibbert looks dominant.

One of the game’s best defenders, he can protect the rim at historically great levels. Even away from the hoop, his defense has developed.

So has his his offense. At times, his post-ups are impressive, and he’s emerging as a pick-and-roll finisher.

Now, with Paul George injured and Lance Stephenson in Charlotte, the Pacers need Hibbert more than ever.

Joakim Noah was the only other All-Star with a below-average usage rate last season. With Derrick Rose getting healthy and Pau Gasol signing, Noah can fade a bit further into the background offensively this year.

Hibbert, on the other hand, must step up.

As the the Pacers faced increased expectations late last season, Hibbert regressed. Especially in the playoffs, his game fell apart.

Maybe an offseason to get his mind right – and train with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – will get him right. He showed just enough in the second half last season to believe he can come back better than  ever.

All this pressure could produce something great… or it could cause Hibbert to crumble. Either way, I’ll be watching.