Roy Hibbert was one of the most disappointing players in the NBA last year with his play down the stretch of the season, and there are a lot of fans that want to see him traded this offseason. There could be a piece of good news on the Hibbert front, however, as the troubled big man has decided to learn from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Perhaps the main issue in Hibbert’s game has been his lack of offensive ability, but Kareem could help him turn that around in a big way.
Larry Bird was very vocal about his desire for Hibbert to seek out on of the greats to teach him a thing or two about how to play the post offensively. If he is able to figure things out this year and become an effective offensive presence, the Pacers will be able to move on from losing Lance Stephenson much quicker. He is a veteran leader in the locker room, and it was very obvious last season that he is a big reason for the Pacers’ success or failure.
Hibbert ended up averaging 10.8 points per game last year, but his shooting numbers were woeful for a 7’2″ center. He shot just 43.9% from the floor overall, and the main reason for that was his inability to secure good post positioning. At his height, Hibbert should be able to dominate the post and finish his shots around the rim.
Part of the issue with Hibbert has been his lack of confidence, and he is very well known for having to see a sports psychologist to help him work out some of the problems. Hibbert did make a comment to the media that he would be the “best center in the NBA someday” and that could happen if he is able to figure out his offensive game. He finished second in Defensive Player of the Year voting last season, and is already one of the best in that area.
All of that being said, the Pacers are relying heavily on Hibbert to improve his game this offseason. This is certainly a good piece of news, but this isn’t the first time that he has worked with one of the NBA greats. He spent last offseason working out with Tim Duncan, but that unfortunately didn’t get him to the point offensively where he can be a legitimate presence.
Overall, it will be very interesting to see what Hibbert adds offensively this coming season. He has all of the ability in the world, and simply needs to figure out how to reach his full potential. Working out with Kareem is a very good start, but he needs to figure himself out and understand how to be effective with head coach Frank Vogel’s offense.