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Pacers Need to Bench Hibbert for Game 6 at Atlanta

The Indiana Pacers face the Atlanta Hawks in Game 6 of their best of seven series on Thursday night in Atlanta. The Pacers’ collective backs are square against the wall as they trail 3-2 and must win both games if they want to move on the conference semifinals.

The Pacers have played mediocre at best basketball for the past month and went from being one of the favorites in the East to possibly being a No. 1 seed eliminated in the first round by a No. 8 seed.

Roy Hibbert the Pacers 7-foot-2 center has had a disastrous series. There is nothing more that can be said other than his play has been disappointing. The time has to sit Hibbert on the bench.

Having a player on the court recording goose eggs in both points and rebounding is more of a problem for the club especially during the playoffs. Of course, the Pacers collectively as a team have played poorly, but no one player has played as poorly as Hibbert.

Through his first five playoff games this season, Hibbert has averaged 4. 8 points and 3.4 boards per game. He has shot just 31.3% from the floor. The numbers are exceedingly embarrassing and made worse when looked at even more.

Hibbert owns a 0.8 player efficiency rating and his fellow teammates have been less effective when he is playing.

When Hibbert is riding the pine, the Pacers are averaging nearly 107 points per every 100 possessions and allowing 103.6 for the same period. However, when Hibbert is playing Indiana plummets to just 99.6 and allows an astronomical 105.7.

When Hibbert is sitting, Indiana has outscored Atlanta by 3.3 points per each 100 possessions, while with him playing Indiana is being outscored 7.6 points per each 100 possessions.

The Pacers should play both Ian Mahinmi and Luis Scola before Hibbert even considers taking his warmups off. Mahinmi has not put up standout numbers, but he is still a better asset to Indiana that Hibbert is at this time.

Luis Scola has been a bright spot for Indiana of which there have not been many. The big man from Argentina has produced offensively off the bench and can hit mid to long range jumpers, while still holding his old posting up on the box.

The Pacers are just more effective offensively with one of those two big men playing that when Hibbert is on the court.

Hibbert is certainly a beast on defense and was thought to be on the short list for Defensive Player of the Year that eventually went to Chicago’s Joakim Noah.

Opponents have figured out its is easier to defeat Indiana using a spread offense that packing ten players near the point when the Pacers have a defensive force like Hibbert down low.

Thus teams, especially Atlanta in this series have spread the court, opened up passing lanes and have sent players driving to the lane to score or dish off to other open players for 3-pointers.

Down 3-2 the Pacers need to implement drastic measures and that means sitting Hibbert and try to defeat an under .500 No. 8 seed without him.

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