Roy Hibbert says he will be the ‘best center in the league’
Roy Hibbert made the All-Star team a season ago, one in which he averaged career highs of 12.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per game, while anchoring the defense for a Pacers team that pushed the eventual champion Heat to six games in the second round of the playoffs.
That performance convinced Indiana to match a max contract offer that the Blazers presented to Hibbert in restricted free agency. So far this season, however, Hibbert has regressed statistically, and isn’t coming close to living up to that contract.
Still, the confidence remains. Hibbert believes that despite his struggles, he will eventually become the league’s best center.
From Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports:
“People said I wouldn’t be in the NBA,” said Hibbert, the highest-paid Pacer at $13.8 million this season. “People said I wouldn’t be a starting center, this, that and the other. I just prove people wrong. I’m having a slump right now, but in the grand scheme of things I’m going to turn it around and hopefully be the best when it’s all said and done.”There’s the power of positive thinking and all that, which is good to see in someone like Hibbert that has shown he has the tools to be successful. But there’s also being realistic.
Even in his All-Star season, Hibbert only scored 20 points or better in six out of 65 games. He’s limited offensively, and to be the best in the league at any position, you have to have an offensive game that’s substantially more than serviceable.
That’s the area where Hibbert has backtracked the most so far in the early stages of the season, with his average dipping three points per game from last year, to a level of just single digits.
There’s much more than scoring to playing the game, obviously, and Hibbert is still above average defensively. He’s improved his shot-blocking to be third in the league in that category at over three per game — ahead of Howard, who sits at fourth.
Hibbert doesn’t appear to have the potential to dominate on both ends of the floor for stretches, to the point where teams would construct entire game plans around his presence. As he said, he’s used to proving people wrong, which is what he’ll have to do in a big way to convince any of us he can be the best in the league at his position.
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I gotta wonder if Duncan is finished schooling him yet during the off season and is charging for his tutoring?
bless his heart but his feet are too slow to be the best center in the league in this era. he would've been great with slower guys, but he can't hack or be dominant against a normal lineup and is worse off against small lineups (like the playoffs last year)
Well maybe if he could have signed with the Spurs and had fulltime Mr.Fundamental training and Popovich training..... Maybe. His for speed has nothing to do with it. There is a certain #21 who has the athleticism of a turtle but has extraordinary footwork.... And they call him the best pf ever. Roy has good jumper, better than Duncans when he came in the league. His post game needs work. Duncan had big Dave, so if Hibbert had TD for about 4-5 years he'd be on a good pace. He has the potential. Look at Bynum after he go some teaching from Kareem. So it's not out his reach, as long as he's willing to be taught.
Who else plays center in this league other than him and Howard? It's not a long list. He is going to have to get over his contract though. I think that went to his head, not in the sense of making him complacent but in the sense of making him too nervous to play up to potential.
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