Saturday, May 19, 2012
Hibbert: Expect Wade to bounce back
By Michael Wallace
INDIANAPOLIS - It was a tale of two performances that defined the Indiana Pacers' blowout victory in Game 3 against the Miami Heat.
Pacers center Roy Hibbert had a formidable game while Heat guard Dwyane Wade's performance was flat-out forgettable. As expected, Indiana spent Saturday's practice bracing for what it expects to be a huge bounce-back effort from Wade, who went scoreless in the first half for the first time in 95 career playoff games and finished with just five points and five turnovers.
Meanwhile, the Heat worked Saturday to ensure that Hibbert won't duplicate the kind of impact that led to his career outing with 19 points, 18 rebounds and five blocked shots in Thursday's 94-75 win to take a 2-1 series lead.
"We're going off the mindset ... that D-Wade isn't going to have the kind of night he had in Game 3," Hibbert said after the Pacers' practice Saturday in preparation for Sunday's game. "So we're preparing for him to have a good night, and we'll have to go out there and execute."
Wade missed 11 of his 13 shot attempts and struggled to get into the lane against Indiana's speed and length. Wade also has been dealing with nagging knee and lower-leg injuries that required extensive treatment in recent days.
But with two days off before Game 4, the Pacers expect a more explosive display from Wade. Hibbert insists Indiana will be ready for the challenge, as well as the chance to take a commanding 3-1 lead before the series shifts back to Miami.
"We have some schemes to put him in situations to get the ball out of his hands, and make sure he works on the defensive end," Hibbert said. "I'm not really worried about scoring. I'm really worried about stopping LeBron (James) and D-Wade from getting into the paint."
As for his own game, Hibbert said he can't guarantee another massive double-double like he had in Game 3. But he did vow to focus on two areas.
"I'll tell you one thing: I'm going to rebound and defend," Hibbert said. "Whatever happens after that, happens."