Roy Hibbert proves size matters

Win or lose, Indiana's success validates the old big-oriented approach

Updated: May 31, 2013, 5:23 PM ET
By Chris Broussard | ESPN Insider
Roy HibbertJoe Robbins/Getty ImagesRoy Hibbert and the Indiana Pacers have validated the relevancy of bigs and post play.

They called him "Bobo." He was so gangly, so goofy, so downright awkward and almost clumsy in his movements that the rest of the All-Stars called him Bobo.

That's what Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert was subjected to during his first All-Star experience in 2012. In practice, in warm-ups, in the game, some of his Eastern Conference teammates ribbed him with that derogatory nickname. They were just joking around, just being fun-loving, but Hibbert, who laughed off the insults, probably wasn't laughing inside.

He's laughing now, though.

Bobo is far from a clown in these Eastern Conference finals. With a wide array of post moves rarely seen in today's version of basketball, Hibbert has dominated the world champion Miami Heat, averaging 22 points and 11 rebounds a game while shooting 54.7 percent from the floor.

Through the first four games, he arguably played better than four-time MVP LeBron James when you factor in his significant defensive contributions, and he's simply outdistanced James' struggling perennial All-Star teammates Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh by a wide margin.