2012 NBA Playoffs: Why Roy Hibbert Is the X-Factor for the Indiana Pacers

Karthik TadisinaSenior Writer IMay 18, 2012

Roy Hibbert.
Roy Hibbert.Marc Serota/Getty Images

Is Roy Hibbert the X-factor for the Indiana Pacers in their playoff series against the Miami Heat?

With Chris Bosh out it appears that the big man should look to control the paint in every game.

Hibbert is a legit NBA center that can score, rebound and block shots with consistency and needs to do this against the smaller Heat team for the Pacers to have a decent chance of a possible upset.

The Indiana Pacers defeated the Miami Heat in Game 2 after getting strong scoring from veterans David West and Leandro Barbosa. Starting center Roy Hibbert scored eight points to go along with 11 rebounds.

In Game 3, the Pacers got a much better performance from their big man as Hibbert scored 19 points and 18 rebounds to go along with five blocked shots, helping boost the Pacers to a big win over the Miami Heat Thursday night.

After struggling to score the basketball in the first two games, Hibbert displayed all of his skills in Game 3 as the Pacers defeated the Heat at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse.

Without Chris Bosh in the starting lineup for the Miami Heat, Hibbert’s play becomes very important for the Pacers. Hibbert is big enough to defend the painted area and showed in Game 3 that he can rebound, block shots, score and expose the lack of depth the Heat have in their frontcourt.

With Hibbert playing well and doing his thing, it allows for fast-break opportunities for the likes of Darren Collison, Danny Granger and Paul George that will allow the Pacers to get “easy” points, thus putting more pressure on the Heat’s defense to find a way to stop them.