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For Hibbert, Home is Where The Heart Is

Frank McGrath --
Frank McGrath —

Corey Elliot
ISR Senior Writer

 WASHINGTON, D.C. – Until Wednesday’s match up with the Miami Heat, Roy Hibbert was nowhere to be found. But just as the legend of the Phoenix goes, there he was, rising from the ashes of a dismal second half of the season.

Hibbert scored 13 points in the first quarter after averaging nine since the return from New Orleans. And that couldn’t have come at a better time. For obvious reasons, Hibbert always seems to shine against the Washington Wizards—especially when the Indiana Pacers travel to Washington, D.C. just a few miles from where he grew up in Adelphi, Maryland.

His rookie season, Hibbert averaged six points and roughly four rebounds per-game against Washington; both averages lingering around his season average of 3.5 RPG and 7.1 PPG. Ever since the 2009-2010 season, Hibbert has over achieved with flying colors.

Year         Season Avg.     Avg. V. Wizards

2008-2009:      7.1 PPG,  3.5 RPG     6 PPG, 3.6 RPG

2009-2010:      11.7 PPG, 5.7 RPG    15 PPG, 8.6 RPG

2010-2011:       12.7 PPG, 7.5 RPG    13.5 PPG, 6 RPG

2011-2012:       12.8 PPG, 8.8 RPG    13.6 PPG, 4 PPG

2012-2013:       11.9 PPG, 8.9 RPG    16 PPG, 9.5 RPG

2013-2014:       11.8 PPG, 7.7 RPG    12.5 PPG, 7 RPG

With the exception of a few rebound averages slightly lower than the season average it’s obvious Hibbert has something that ignites his drive when he faces the Wizards. Last season he contributed a 20-point night, an evening that isn’t anywhere near his level of play offensively on a regular basis.

This evening, Hibbert will try to continue riding Wednesday’s momentum and add to his trend of showing up hungry and ready when the Wizards are lining up across from him and the Pacers. With 10 games remaining it would be a much needed ego boost for Hibbert who, much like the rest of his teammates, is trying to peak heading into mid-April for the Playoffs.

It’s no secret to anyone that can read and write above a third grade level; when Roy Hibbert struggles, Roy Hibbert starts a slow and steady mental meltdown internally, beating himself up while his confidence shrinks to the size of a jelly bean. Hibbert needs another stellar performance tonight as much as his teammates are counting on him to have one—if not more.

Corey Elliot is a Senior Writer at the Indy Sports Report and a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association recognized as an accredited member of the media by the Pacers and has full media access.  Follow Corey and the ISR on Twitter

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