Roy Hibbert reflects on Game 1 loss

Updated: May 24, 2013, 11:50 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

As the Indiana Pacers put their full focus on Game 2, center Roy Hibbert and forward Paul George reflected on individual mistakes that factored into Miami winning the Eastern Conference finals opener.

George said Thursday that he made a boneheaded mistake trying to pressure LeBron James rather than force him to try a contested jump shot, and the result was James driving for an uncontested layup as time expired for a 103-102 overtime victory. And Hibbert said, in retrospect, his mistake was not imploring coach Frank Vogel to put him on the floor for that final possession to defend the paint. James blew past George and had a clear path to the winning bucket.

"Me growing as a player, I need to do that more and have a bigger voice," Hibbert said. "I do need to grow as a player and be willing to do that."

Vogel kept 7-foot-2 shot-blocker Hibbert on the bench, fearing Miami's Chris Bosh might get free for a winning jumper. But Bosh said he was never an option to take the Heat's final shot. As for James, he said he would have attacked the rim no matter who was there protecting it.

"I would have probably had to adjust my finish, but I'd have had an opportunity to get to the lane. It would have put Hibbert in a tough position. I'd have probably had to adjust and I guess bring the athletic part of my game out at that point," James said with a smile.

From the moment Game 1 was over, second-guessing of Vogel's decision not to have Hibbert on the floor began, and it hasn't let up.

Vogel hasn't come out and said it, but it was Bosh -- more than James -- whom he feared having the ball in his hands on the Heat's final possession.

"All I'd say is it was a sound plan when you have five 3-point shooters on the court to have a switching lineup out there with five guys that are great ball containers and ask your team to try to force a jump shot," Vogel said.

Asked whether he thought there's any way in a similar situation that Hibbert would be on the bench in the future in the series, George said, "I don't know. I don't think Coach wanna get burned the same way, so Hibbert might be out there the next time they try that again."

Information from ESPN's Marc Schwarz and ESPN.com's Michael Wallace was used in this report.

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