We all have times that we want to scream at the television. Whether it’s during our favorite team’s game or when a favorite character is killed off of a show, we all do it. Yesterday morning I was watching Mike and Mike in the Morning as I always do and they led off with the horrendous performance by Indiana’s Roy Hibbert.
As the two talking heads bounced all over the spectrum talking about Hibbert’s poor play in the playoffs I found myself again ready to scream at my television.
As bright as both Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic are, I was astonished that they didn’t hit on a question that I have been thinking about this entire playoffs. “Is Roy Hibbert dealing with an off-court situation?”
Perhaps it isn’t as obvious to others as it is to me but there is without question something wrong with Hibbert. He has now gone three of eight playoff games in 2014 without scoring a single point. He had more fouls Monday night than he did points and rebounds combined.
What I’ve been waiting to happen finally did according to the Pacers and ESPN. Veteran Pacer David West apparently had seen enough and become very loud and angry and directed every bit of his energy at Hibbert. This was bound to happen and it comes as no surprise that West was the guy to do it because without him, the Pacers are already home planning their summer vacations.
Indiana Head Coach Frank Vogel has tried his best to treat Hibbert with kid gloves and remain firmly in his big man’s corner but even he had to admit that Monday night’s performance may have been the breaking point. With his job clearly on the line, will Vogel continue to stay with Roy Hibbert? If he is smart, he won’t.
Back to my main point though. Has anyone else considered that what is ailing Hibbert could be 100% non-basketball related? Is he in a relationship that has gone wrong? Is his family healthy? Did something occur in his life that most of us just aren’t aware of?
We view our professional athletes as almost inhuman. We expect them to be at the very best each and every time they enter into their respective fields of battle but we often forget they are human like we are.
Roy Hibbert looks completely disinterested in playing basketball to me. Would it be so wrong if he just wasn’t into playing the game anymore? No, it sure wouldn’t but his timing couldn’t be a worse if that is the case. This is a man who has won the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year Award and finished second this season.
He most certainly knows what he is capable of doing yet he seemingly cannot do it. We can credit the Atlanta Hawks for having a masterful game plan that limited Hibbert’s effectiveness because they spread out the Pacers so well, but it’s significantly more than that and we all know it.
We thought the Pacers would be unable to survive the Hawks without Hibbert being a factor but they did. After Monday’s loss to the Washington Wizards, it’s evident that Indiana will not make the conference finals without the real Roy Hibbert. Wizards’ big men Nene and Marcin Gortat dominated the boards collecting 21 rebounds between them.
At this point, I don’t see Roy Hibbert suddenly waking from his trance. Something isn’t right in this man’s head and I know plenty who would pay good money to know what it is but we may never know. Frank Vogel doesn’t and neither do Hibbert’s teammates.
Something just isn’t right and I think it has far more to do with than just basketball.