Unless you're a fan of empty box scores or untimely disappearing acts, you wouldn't like the big fella when he's angry.
Hibbert logged 22 minutes during Indiana's 102-90 loss to the Miami Heat Monday night, grabbing five rebounds, dishing out an assist and blocking a shot during his floor time. The scoring column on his stat sheet was empty, though, as the two-time All-Star center laid his fourth goose egg of the postseason.
Hibbert deflected blame for his struggles after the contest and pointed a finger at Pacers coach Frank Vogel, instead.
"The game plan really wasn't to utilize me as much; I'm just trying to be effective as I can," Hibbert said, via Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. "Would I like a little bit more touches early on? Yeah. But that's how the cookie crumbles sometimes."
Hibbert attempted just four shots from the field, half as many as reserve forward Luis Scola launched in his 14 minutes of action. Hibbert couldn't get engaged in the offense early on, then battled foul trouble throughout the contest.
Barren box scores have become something of a recurring nightmare for Hibbert and the Pacers. He's been held to six points or fewer in eight of his 17 playoff games and has only managed to grab more than seven rebounds in five of those outings.
His problems date back for months. After cruising into the All-Star break with an 11.8 points-per-game scoring average, a 46.4 field-goal percentage and a 105.3 offensive rating, per NBA.com, he saw those numbers plummet to 8.9, 39.0 and 99.6, respectively, after the break.
Still, Wednesday's dud was particularly painful to watch because he'd seemed as if he was putting his issues behind him. Hibbert entered the contest having scored double digits in seven of his last eight games, averaging 15.1 on 53.6 percent shooting over that stretch.
Miami's undersized defense, in particular, seemed to be the perfect cure to Hibbert's offensive woes:
Leaving tire tracks on Vogel's back is a curious way for Hibbert to rally his downtrodden troops. With Monday's loss, the Pacers now sit just one defeat shy of their third straight playoff dismissal at the hands of the Heat.
Then again, Hibbert has become rather infamous for his foot-in-mouth solutions. As his team splintered in late March, the big man furthered that divide by firing shots at some nameless "selfish dudes" inside Indiana's locker room, via NBA.com's David Aldridge.
When things go wrong, Hibbert sets out looking the reasons behind the breakdowns. Rarely will he search for a mirror, though, even on a night when his scoreless flop gets compounded by the 25 points Miami got from its starting center, Chris Bosh.
"I can only control what I can control," Hibbert said, via Windhorst. "I can't control plays called for me."
He can control the on-off switch that prevents these misplaced criticisms from going public, though.
Fans don't need to know how the big man is feeling. That's become a little too clear by his production—or lack thereof.
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