Pacers need to feed Hibbert

Game 2 proved Pacers' big is most useful when given lots of looks

Updated: May 9, 2014, 3:18 PM ET
By Kevin Pelton | ESPN Insider

Of all the explanations that have been proposed for Roy Hibbert's bounce-back performance in the Indiana Pacers' Game 2 win over the Washington Wizards after he went scoreless in Game 1 -- from a fishing trip with teammates George Hill and Paul George to Georgetown coach John Thompson III arriving in Indiana to support his former star to the Pacers parting ways with backup center Andrew Bynum -- teammate Lance Stephenson had the simplest rationale.

"It was mainly our fault, because we weren't giving him the ball," Stephenson told reporters after Game 2. "I told him tonight, 'Hey, when I get it, you're going to get it from me.' He delivered."

Obviously, Hibbert can't score without the ball. But beyond that, there's evidence that Hibbert is a different player when he's more involved in the Indiana offense.

More plays, better results

Over the course of the 2013-14 season, plus the playoffs, I broke down Hibbert's performance by whether his usage rate was greater than or less than his season average (19.4 percent). The results are striking.