Mark Evans: Roy Hibbert, The $58 Million Man
Not too long ago, the NBA world was buzzing about how the Indiana Pacers could ride
Roy Hibbert and David West to victory over the seemingly invincible Miami Heat. In a
league where teams are getting smaller by the minute, a squad with a 7’2” center and
a bruising power forward presented a massive threat.
Funny how times change.
If you ask Pacers fans who they would like the offense to be run through this season,
Roy Hibbert’s name may come up after those of DJ Augustin or even Gerald Green.
It is a strange turn of events for someone who was a popular commodity this offseason
as a restricted free agent. The Portland Trailblazers made a strong attempt to pair him
with LaMarcus Aldridge, but Hibbert ended up returning to Indiana on a four-year, $58
This season, he has not been worth his money.
Offensively, he’s been miserable. Hibbert is shooting under 42%, a number that makes
no sense for someone who is 7’2” and should be living around the rim. He has never
really been a polished offensive player, and has never shot over 50% from the field
over the course of a season, but 42% just isn’t acceptable.
Worse still, according to Basketball-Reference, Hibbert has somehow figured out a way
to generate negative offensive win shares. There are about 100 players to appear in an
NBA game this season who have pulled off this feat, but only 28 have a worse total than
Hibbert’s -0.3 offensive win shares. (Gerald Green is one of them.)
Hibbert was better in January, when he shot slightly over 46% from the field and
actually had a few games where he resembled a $58 million player. He was efficient,
for example, in an 18 point, 11 rebound effort against the Detroit Pistons recently, but
these kind of games are overshadowed by too many in which he only converts 25% of
As bad as he’s been offensively, however, he might actually be inversely good
According to Basketball-Reference, Hibbert allows just 96 points per 100 possessions,
which is the best of any Pacer this season and helps make Indiana an elite defensive
team. And since Hibbert is a great rim protector it allows Indiana’s athletic wing
defenders to gamble a little more. And did I mention that he’s tall?
As awful as he is this season on offense, his defensive efforts have been good enough
to still make him a plus player.
The verdict on his season...CONTINUE READING AT 8p9s