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NBA Playoffs 2012: Roy Hibbert and the 7 Most Inconsistent Playoff Performers

Nick ConditCorrespondent ISeptember 3, 2016

NBA Playoffs 2012: Roy Hibbert and the 7 Most Inconsistent Playoff Performers

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    Roy Hibbert and the Indiana Pacers played valiantly this postseason, but were ultimately too inconsistent to overcome LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and a Chris Bosh-less Miami Heat team.

    Hibbert is still a young player however, and did gain some valuable experience that he can use to improve going forward. 

    Let's take a look at some players who must improve their game and become more consistent by the time the 2013 NBA Playoffs roll around.

7. Danny Granger

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    Danny Granger is the go-to scorer for the Indiana Pacers. He needs to score 20 points and get enough shot attempts to allow that many, in order for the Pacers to flourish.

    In the first round against the Howard-less Magic, Granger averaged 21.4 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. In the next round, his numbers dropped to 13.3 ppg and 4.5 rpg, with a miserable 38 percent field goal percentage.

    Of course, he was playing a superior team in the Miami Heat and also struggled through injuries, but I'm sorry, those are not excuses in the playoffs.

    Granger has to be the go-to guy in the Pacers' offense and his numbers just weren't good enough. If he wants to be considered an elite scorer in this league, he needs to stop worrying about getting in LeBron's face and start carrying his team offensively. 

6. Carmelo Anthony

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    Melo shot a horrific 3-for-15 with 11 points in Game 1 of the opening round playoff series against the Heat. 

    Then he shot well, going 12-for-26 with 30 points in Game 2. 

    In Game 3, he shot poorly again and went 7-of-23 with 22 points.

    Anthony played well in games 4 and 5, shooting 50% from the field and averaging 38 points per game. Thank goodness for those games because he desperately needed to quiet his critics. But why can't he play like that every game?

    He was incredibly inconsistent in that series, and it was incredibly frustrating for Knicks' fans because they saw what he is capable of. 

    Melo needs to play better next postseason—hopefully with New York's version of "the big four" in tact.

5. Marc Gasol

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    I am sorry Gasol family. Both of the Spaniards made this list.

    Marc averaged just 10.3 points per game in the first four games of the Grizzlies' series with the Clippers. He finished the series strong, averaging 21.7 in the final three games, before Memphis fell to Los Angeles.

    The All-Star center had 10 shot attempts or less in each of the first four games, and needed to be more of a factor. That may or may not be his fault but he has to communicate to his team that the ball needs to be worked through him.

    Memphis turned into a jump-shooting team when Gasol wasn't getting the ball regularly, which made the entire team inconsistent. The Grizzlies have a strong roster and it is quite easy to settle for shots from Rudy Gay, Mike Conley and O.J. Mayo. But they have to remember that Gasol can be their most reliable scorer.

    The Grizzlies will be back next year. 

4. Pau Gasol

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    Pau has been inconsistent in the playoffs for the past two years. This season, it nearly cost the Lakers the first round series against Denver.

    Gasol averaged 12.5 points per game and only shot the ball at a 43 percent clip this postseason. For a supposed low-post player, 43 percent is downright awful.

    The big Spaniard is probably being moved this offseason as he is only getting older. Gasol's age could be the reason for his inconsistency and poor shooting, but when you play for the Lakers, there are no valid excuses.

    One wonders how "the big three" in L.A. ever won an NBA championship.

3. Roy Hibbert

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    Roy Hibbert's offensive numbers are all over the place.

    Look at how many points he scored in each of his playoff games:

    1. 8

    2. 4

    3. 18

    4. 14

    5. 11

    6. 17

    7. 8

    8. 19

    9. 10

    10. 8

    11. 12

    Hibbert is on the cusp of something special. He has the talent to be one of the best centers in the league and I think he is one year away from putting it all together. This type of inconsistency is typical with young players, so it is rather encouraging that he can be effective in big games.

    By this time next year, I think we will have seen a much-improved Hibbert who will be able to consistently string strong performances together.

2. Andrew Bynum

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    Bynum has been inconsistent all season. He averaged 16.7 points per game in the playoffs and his numbers were also all over the place.

    For a center with his talent, he has to be the type of player that dominates a game and takes the pressure off of Kobe Bryant. You think Dwight Howard would have averaged under 20 ppg?

    I don't think so.

    Bynum has shown flashes of brilliance at times and flashes of disinterest at others. The big 7-footer seemed to get pushed around and back down from physical play.

    He has the ability to be a dominant center, but there is something going on in his head that disallows him to play well, or even hard, every game.

    If there was an award for most inconsistent player in 2012, Bynum easily wins. However, this list deals with postseason performers so Bynum only grabs the second spot.

1. Chris Paul

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    Say what you will and argue away, but the most disappointing postseason performer for me was Chris Paul.

    Paul's scoring numbers took a significant nose dive from the first round of the playoffs to the second. 

    He averaged 20.4 points per game against Memphis and only 12.8 against the Spurs. Maybe now we are seeing why, as Tony Parker continues to torture the opposing point guard who attempts to keep up with him.

    But Paul is supposed to be the best point guard in the world and his offensive output was shut down by San Antonio. His field goal percentage also dropped from 46 percent in the first round to 37 percent in the second.

    He also looked passive at times, looking more to setup teammates than to find his own shot. Hopefully he knows that he is the most prolific scorer on his team, and that without his scoring, the Clippers will almost certainly fail.

    However, besides Paul, the Clippers are a relatively young team and have tremendous upside. I would just like to see Chris Paul take over more games next season in the playoffs.

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