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David West on Roy Hibbert: 'He's got to be part of the fight'

By James Herbert | NBA writer

Roy Hibbert again looked lost in Game 1 vs. Washington. (USATSI)
Roy Hibbert again looked lost in Game 1 vs. Washington. (USATSI)

More postseason coverage: Playoff schedule, results | Latest news, notes

Roy Hibbert didn't score a single point on Monday. It was his third scoreless outing in eight playoff games. The 7'2, 290-pound Indiana Pacers center didn't grab a rebound, either. In 18 minutes against the Washington Wizards, he collected five fouls, shot 0-for-2 from the field and the Pacers were outscored by 17 points.

Some thought the matchup with Washington would change Hibbert's poor postseason fortunes, but, at least after Game 1, that doesn't appear to be the case. In a postgame scrum following Indiana's 102-96 loss, forward David West strongly spoke up about his frontcourt partner.

Hibbert is averaging 4.6 points and 3.3 rebounds in 21 minutes per game in the playoffs, shooting 36 percent from the field. The big man ended the regular season in a serious slump, but this is a new low. Forward Paul George echoed West in saying that Hibbert must contribute if the Pacer are going to get where they want to go.

West, Hibbert and veteran forward Rasual Butler reportedly had a private talk in the weight room, but declined to comment on it, via Scott Agness of Pacers.com.

Hibbert himself acknowledged that things needed to change.

The increasingly concerning issue is that this version of Hibbert has become the norm. His 13-point, seven-rebound, five-block performance in Game 7 against the Atlanta Hawks was the only time he'd reached double figures in the last month. He clearly didn't fit against a Hawks team with numerous three-point-shooting bigs, but the Wizards don't pose the same problem.

Washington is a solid team, though, and it has proven capable of creating good looks against the Chicago Bulls' stingy defense. Indiana will have to be much better than it was against Atlanta in order to advance past the second round. It's hard to imagine it happening without Hibbert playing a bigger part.

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