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vnzla81
02-02-2010, 06:43 PM
http://my.nba.com/cms/108468/smits_career_a_template_for_hibbert

Smits' career a template for Hibbert

When Rik Smits watches Roy Hibbert play, it's not exactly like looking into a mirror of the past. But the similarities are striking.

Like Smits, Hibbert was a highly-touted four-year collegian thrust immediately into a prominent role. Like Smits, Hibbert has showed flashes of immense potential but has struggled for consistency. Like Smits, Hibbert has struggled to overcome a problem with foul trouble.

Like Smits, Hibbert bears the weight of the franchise on his shoulders but manages to carry the burden with head up, chin high and a smile on his face.

Smits averaged 14.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.28 blocks in 12 seasons with the Pacers and played a pivotal role in the team's rise to prominence in the 1990s. He still lives in suburban Indianapolis and has become a Hibbert fan, purchasing a No. 55 jersey to wear to Conseco Fieldhouse for games.

"Most of the games I've gone to he's done pretty well," said Smits. "It's inconsistent, I guess, but he definitely has great upside. He works hard, he seems to be a real good guy, he's got a decent touch and a nice jumper and has some good moves.

"There are probably a couple of things he needs to add to his arsenal, an inside pivot or something like that, but he's got all the right tools."

Hibbert, who still has one of Smits' trading cards from the 1990s, met the former Pacers standout at Peyton Manning's charity bowling tournament last year and the two struck up a fast friendship.

"I know he was a very talented very talented center here," Hibbert said. "I asked him if he could work out with me sometime, show me some stuff but he just had surgery on his back. Any chance I get to learn from a talented center, I would love to be able to soak up all his knowledge. I know he's done great things and I'd like to learn from him."

Smits had major back surgery in November that involved plates, screws and bone grafts and cannot participate in any full-contact physical workouts for six months. Once he's cleared, he said he'd welcome the chance to work with Hibbert.

"I'd want to bang with him but I'm not supposed to have any impact until May," Smits said. "I guess (they could work out) maybe in the summertime or offseason. They've got assistant coaches and I don't want to interfere during the season. But if it's something Roy wants to do in the offseason, great."

In the meantime, Hibbert will learn by doing, as Smits did. When drafted No. 2 overall in 1988, Smits was expected to learn gradually but a freak knee injury brought a premature end to the career of starter Steve Stipanovich and Smits had to start right away. The team struggled in his first five seasons before reaching the Eastern Conference Finals in 1994, the first of three consecutive trips and six in seven years.

"There was no better way to learn. He's going to get better from playing," Smits said. "I'm sure he's got coaches helping him on the side. I always did, with Bob Hill working with the big guys as much as we wanted. I'm sure he's got the same thing with their assistants.

"Being thrown right in there is definitely the fastest way to learn. Of course, there's going to be a lot of pressure and different people handle it different ways."

As Smits persevered through the tough times two decades ago, Hibbert is doing the same. The team is struggling, his role is evolving but his attitude and approach are unflagging.

"I knew I was doing my best and I was working hard," Smits said. "I guess we got through it all right. You have to have patience. If you know you're doing your best, that's what matters."

"I know what I can do," said Hibbert. "I just have to go into every game exuding confidence and making sure I can finish the plays I know I can and do a lot of extra stuff out there."

They are big footsteps, but if Hibbert can follow Smits' path, he will prove to be well worth the wait.

QuickRelease
02-02-2010, 06:53 PM
I love Roy wanting to work out with Rik. His personal drive and desire to get better is encouraging. Love, love, love Roy Hibbert!

vnzla81
02-02-2010, 06:58 PM
I love Roy wanting to work out with Rik. His personal drive and desire to get better is encouraging. Love, love, love Roy Hibbert!

I like Roy too, I been saying for a long time that the pacers should hire Smith to teach Roy how to play the game, I hope they do that. I also think that Roy next year is going to start to be more vocal and be the leader, he has that in him.

Putnam
02-02-2010, 07:13 PM
If Roy can develop tools as good as Rik's and stay healthy, he can have a better career.



.

graphic-er
02-02-2010, 10:18 PM
you have to wonder why Rik isn't part of this organization? He would be a perfect player coach for the big guys. Does he have beef with bird or something?

Shade
02-02-2010, 10:30 PM
Funny. When asked at the last forum party what everyone thought Roy's ceiling was, I said Rik Smits. :shrug:

cdash
02-03-2010, 12:56 AM
Funny. When asked at the last forum party what everyone thought Roy's ceiling was, I said Rik Smits. :shrug:

Yeah, that's always been the natural comparison for Hibbert. It's a rare feat when a black player and a white player are compared to one another. They do have similar games--both of them are massive, both have nice shooting touch for big men, both are slow, both played for the Pacers, etc. It kind of makes you wonder if Roy is playing in the wrong era. He could have been quite a force in the 90s NBA. Rambling, over.

Peck
02-03-2010, 01:23 AM
you have to wonder why Rik isn't part of this organization? He would be a perfect player coach for the big guys. Does he have beef with bird or something?

Rik is not an NBA guy. He'll go to a game every now and then and he will talk with players he knew and will do charity things for the Pacers but his real love is racing and fixing old bikes and cars.

If you met this guy away from the game and he wasn't 7'4" tall you would think he is just a regular guy. You will see him walking at the home improvement shows and the boat sport and travel shows at the fairgrounds but he is not there as a celeb. He is there like everybody else looking around.

I think it sounds like though that he would be willing to work with Roy if he was given the chance.

Does anyone else think it's cool as hell that he bought a Roy Jersey to wear to the games?

Wage
02-03-2010, 02:44 AM
Does anyone else think it's cool as hell that he bought a Roy Jersey to wear to the games?

Yes! I have no idea why, but that gives me a very good feeling. Sort of a symbolic circle back to the good ol' days or something.

Tom White
02-03-2010, 10:39 AM
They do have similar games--both of them are massive, both have nice shooting touch for big men, both are slow, both played for the Pacers, etc.

I guess I just don't see the similarities. Roy is a center that wants to play like a center. I always got the idea that Smits played more like a 7'4" small forward, leaving the banging to others.

esabyrn333
02-03-2010, 12:14 PM
I personally would love to see Pat Ewing brought in as our next head coach. I think he could help Roy become an AS level big guy for us and I don't see him having the same shoot the 3 100 times a game Offense either.

Naptown_Seth
02-03-2010, 12:47 PM
BillS and I argued extensively last year about Rush "learning from the bench", including Bill taking the stand that Rush was better because he'd been benched for awhile. At the time I pointed out that Rush had actually returned and played for plenty of games before "getting it", and someone (Hicks, Gnome, other?) noted that he had a moment against Wade where it actually seemed to click.

Anyway, I don't think Bill was the only one taking that viewpoint about needing to learn from watching. So it's interesting that Smits doesn't agree given that he went through the actual experience.


"There was no better way to learn. He's going to get better from playing," Smits said. "I'm sure he's got coaches helping him on the side. I always did, with Bob Hill working with the big guys as much as we wanted. I'm sure he's got the same thing with their assistants.

"Being thrown right in there is definitely the fastest way to learn. Of course, there's going to be a lot of pressure and different people handle it different ways."

Naptown_Seth
02-03-2010, 01:51 PM
Not to take away from Bruno too much, but haven't we been cooking the "Roy is following a path close to Smits" angle for quite awhile now?

I mean I'm even making the following case:

Danny = Reggie (3pt ace, not a great defender, carries the scoring)
Rush = McKey (defensive focused, reluctant but capable scorer that frustrates fans on some nights when he doesn't score)
Roy - Rik (see the article)

Price isn't Jax, and don't get me started on Tyler being Dale, but there are some pieces that seem close. You could easily get someone in the Dale'ish area in this draft. Several strong PFs with a knack for banging and defense are other there, as well as guys more offensive minded if you prefer.

We've even got Booker at Clemson who's right in the park of Dale's Clemson numbers I believe.

ACC players who led in both rpg and FG% - 7 times, 1 is Booker last year, Dale is two of them, Duncan, Buck Williams, Horace Grant, Ralph Sampson

Booker won't repeat this year, but Ed Davis and Favors are in the park, Lawal just a bit off the pace. Aminu is way up in rpg, but not in FG%

That's a lot of guys in the hunt to join a prestigious list of great ACC PFs. And more impressive is that these guys are going against each other most nights.

Anthem
02-03-2010, 02:11 PM
Anyway, I don't think Bill was the only one taking that viewpoint about needing to learn from watching. So it's interesting that Smits doesn't agree given that he went through the actual experience.
I've made this case for a while... going back to the Bender years. Sticking him on the bench wasn't helping him get better. He improved quickly when given PT (even though he certainly wasn't earning that PT in the beginning) but was essentially the same player after spending a season on the bench.

If you want the kids to improve, you have to get them out on the floor. That goes for Roy/Rush, it goes for AJ, it goes for Tyler/McRoberts/Solo, it may even go for D.Jones. Playing time (minutes on the floor) are a team resource, and if you're spending those resources on guys that aren't going to get better means you are WASTING those resources. And you won't get any more until the following season.

cdash
02-03-2010, 02:58 PM
I guess I just don't see the similarities. Roy is a center that wants to play like a center. I always got the idea that Smits played more like a 7'4" small forward, leaving the banging to others.

I can't say that I ever thought Rik Smits ever played like anything but a center. I definitely don't see the small forward thing. He didn't bang because he had the Davis enforcers to do it for him.

McKeyFan
02-03-2010, 04:13 PM
Calling for KennerLeaguer or anyone who knows:

What kind of leader was Roy at Georgetown? Did he play the cheerleader role and someone else do the strong leading, or was he the outright leader of the team as a junior/senior?

Tom White
02-03-2010, 04:40 PM
I can't say that I ever thought Rik Smits ever played like anything but a center. I definitely don't see the small forward thing. He didn't bang because he had the Davis enforcers to do it for him.

Well, on offense he played a lot "out on the floor" making use of his shooting range, and less under the basket. Where he set up on the court many times made me think of that. I always thought his nickname of "Dunking Dutchman" really didn't fit, as he was more of a face-up shooter than a dunker.

Defensively, he was more often assigned to guard a forward, with Dale or Antonio taking on the other team's center.

Power was never a word I associated with Smits, on offense or defense.

I'm not knocking what he did contribute, I just don't see his game and Roy's game being similar.

McKeyFan
02-03-2010, 04:51 PM
One similarity I do not like: there were two or three buckets last night Roy should have flat out dunked. His relunctance to do so seems kind of Smits like to me.

owl
02-03-2010, 05:00 PM
I believe Roy can be better than Rik.

Anthem
02-03-2010, 05:09 PM
Well, on offense he played a lot "out on the floor" making use of his shooting range, and less under the basket.
Later in his career, certainly. But he spent plenty of time in the post, with that awkward dribble-dribble-hook combo that served him so well.


Defensively, he was more often assigned to guard a forward, with Dale or Antonio taking on the other team's center.
Only if the forward was the weaker offensive player. Typically Dale/Tony would guard the greater offensive threat and let Rik guard the lesser. That meant that Dale covered Ewing while Rik covered Oakley, but when we played a team with a super PF the roles would reverse.