The Hibbert effect

Miami still can't neutralize Hibbert, and the key may lie in Chris Bosh

Updated: May 20, 2014, 6:48 PM ET
By Tom Haberstroh | ESPN Insider

HaslemMarc Lebryk/USA TODAY SportsThe notoriously inconsistent Hibbert plays his absolute best ball against the Heat.

The Miami Heat still haven't figured out how to deal with Roy Hibbert.

Above all else, that much is clear after Miami's Game 1 loss on Sunday. Yes, the defending champs got destroyed from just about every direction. They missed 17 of 23 3-point attempts. They laid down on pick-and-roll defense. They couldn't stop anyone in Indiana's starting lineup. In fact, the Heat gave up at least 15 points to each of the Indiana Pacers' five starters, which is the first time in Indiana's playoff history that has happened, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The way the Heat played, a cardboard cutout of Reggie Miller would have put up 30.

But Hibbert is still the Heat's most vexing riddle that they have yet to solve. The notoriously inconsistent big man is a metronome of dominance against the Heat. He tallied 19 points, nine rebounds and three assists and registered a game-high plus-19, indicating that the Pacers outscored the Heat by 19 points in the 39 minutes he was on the floor. And voilà: when Hibbert hit the bench, the Heat suddenly looked like the Heat again, outscoring the Pacers 23-15 in nine minutes of play.