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Roy Hibbert is the Pacers MVP

5/29/2013

Roy Hibbert has been the difference for the Indiana Pacers.

The Pacers took advantage of their size advantage down low, primarily with Hibbert, in Game 4.

Roy HibbertHibbertThe big man had 23 points and 12 rebounds in the Pacers’ Game 4 victory. Hibbert joins Dirk Nowitzki (2011 NBA Finals) as the only players with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in three straight postseason games against the Heat in the “Big 3” era.

The Pacers did a better job of getting the ball to Hibbert in the post. He scored 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting on post-ups in Game 4 after going 5-of-13 on post-ups with 17 points in the first three games of the series combined.

Hibbert has scored 20 points in the paint in each of the Pacers’ wins this series. In the two losses, he has 22 total paint points. He’s shooting 20-for-28 in the paint in the two wins, including 10-for-13 in Game 4, and 13-for-30 in the two losses.

LeBron James Drives This Series
With Roy Hibbert On/Off Court

After LeBron James’s game-winning layup with no time remaining in Game 1 came with Hibbert off the court, there’s been a lot of talk about Hibbert’s impact around the basket on the defensive end.

The Pacers took Hibbert out of the game for the final seconds of the first half in Game 4, and again LeBron took advantage with a drive to the basket for a layup.

LeBron has driven to the basket 18 times with Hibbert on the court this series. On those 18 drives, he has five points on 1-for-3 shooting and has passed the ball 11 times.

LeBron James on Post-up Plays
Eastern Conference Finals

With Hibbert off the court, LeBron has scored 11 points on 5-for-6 shooting with three passes on 10 drives.

Hibbert wasn’t the only Pacers player who played tough in Game 4. As a team, the Pacers focused on limiting LeBron in the post. LeBron was 1-of-6 on post-ups in Game 4 after shooting 5-of-9 with 14 points on post-ups in Game 3. LeBron was double-teamed on three of his field-goal attempts in the post in Game 4, compared with only one attempt in Game 3.

Winning the battle down low may be the key for the rest of the series for Hibbert and the Pacers.