Roy Hibbert Calls Out Indiana Pacers After Sluggish Game 5 Loss
To put it mildly, he wasn't particularly pleased with the 85-75 loss.
Roy Hibbert: "We played like [wussies] tonight.I'll get fined for that but I don't care." And he didn't say wussies.— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) May 17, 2013
Hibbert could have chosen his words more carefully, but it's hard to disagree with him on either count.
First, his team did lack a certain intensity in Game 5, which was somewhat surprising given Indiana's hard-nosed demeanor. Plus, if there was ever a time to really ratchet up the physicality, this was it. The Knicks were reeling and facing the prospect of elimination on their home floor.
But instead of going for the jugular, Indiana turned the ball over 19 times, relaxed its defensive intensity on the perimeter and didn't take advantage of a massive advantage in free-throw attempts. (The Pacers made only 19 of 33 from the stripe, while New York only attempted 17 foul shots).
And second, he's definitely going to get fined.
It's great that Hibbert is upset about his team's failure to slam the door. That kind of frustration is something Indiana can use to engineer a better effort in Game 6.
Plus, it's never a bad thing when a Pacer earns a comparison to another Indiana legend.
Roy Hibbert channeling Larry Bird post game. #irritated— Chris Richardson (@CRich4) May 17, 2013
To be clear, calling out the entire team collectively can be an effective tactic. He indicated that some of his teammates were prepared to get the job done...and that some definitely weren't.
More Hibbert: "Some people were ready to go and some weren't."— Lee Jenkins (@SI_LeeJenkins) May 17, 2013
The Pacers have a chance to regroup before heading home to take another shot at closing out the series. And it's possible that Hibbert's choice words will create a distraction. What's more likely, though, is that his sentiments will serve to motivate his teammates to get the job done in Game 6.