Roy Hibbert buttoned up his shirt and fastened his slacks. His wardrobe drenched in gray, matching the mood of Sunday after the Indiana Pacers set franchise marks of embarrassment in their 107-88 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, and Hibbert finished with one of his worst games in six years as a professional.
Then, Hibbert, never facing the growing crowd of reporters who were inched closer to his locker, turned to lace up his sneakers and shut down the speculation of his second-half benching.
“I got nothing to say,” Hibbert muttered.
On Sunday, Hibbert played a season-low 9 minutes and 3 seconds – his fewest minutes since Jan. 11, 2010, when he was a skinny sophomore in this league.
After Hibbert committed a turnover with 8:52 remaining in the second quarter, the Pacers already stumbling to an inconceivable 42-15 deficit, the starting five lumbered towards the huddle for a timeout. Hibbert, who had missed all five of his shot attempts, never appeared back on the court. Replaced by little-used but bouncier Lavoy Allen in the second quarter, benched in place of backup Ian Mahinmi after halftime.
Hibbert finished his nine minutes with no rebounds, no assists, no personal fouls, no steals, no blocked shots, no points and no explanation given for this greatest of magic tricks – how a 7-2 All-Star center vanished into thin air. Indy Star
This entire story actually buries the lead: The Pacers were blown out by the Hawks, a team whose GM does not even want them to make the playoffs.
I covered some of the Pacers woes yesterday. Hibbert’s benching, whatever the reason, is just icing on the cake. – AL