We've long been fans of Roy Hibbert's here at Ball Don't Lie, and his recent appearances and admitted fandom of "Parks and Recreation" sent that admiration through the roof earlier this year. With every passing game into this lockout-shortened season, though, we're finding more and more ways to dig what Hibbert is bringing. He should rank amongst the NBA's most improved players this season, and to hear Hibbert tell it, it's because he's acting like less of a "spaz" on the court.
The guy, apparently, is working some soothing mind tricks on the sideline to settle his butt down. From the great Mike Wells at the Indianapolis Star:
At the same time, Hibbert started relaxation exercises to help ease his mind.
That, along with 15 pounds of added muscle, have made Hibbert almost a regular in the double-double department in points and rebounds for the Pacers (7-3) this season. He's tied for fourth in the league in double-doubles with six.
"I've been doing, as crazy as it might sound, a lot of relaxation exercises to try and change my temperament," Hibbert said. "Sometimes I tend to spaz out on the court. This time I'm letting things go and I'm trying to play more focused."
The results aren't flying off the page, but a closer look at the numbers (because we're total spazzes, 'ere) reveals a sterling start to Hibbert's season. Because Roy is only playing two more minutes per game this season, his 1.4-point and 2.4-rebound per-game jumps won't bowl you over, but every bit helps.
Hibbert is making 54 percent of his looks after failing to make half of his attempts from the floor in his three previous seasons, and his minutes per game should spike once Indiana coach Frank Vogel realizes that he's fouling far, far fewer times. Hibbert averaged a whopping 7.7 fouls for every 36 minutes he played back in 2008-09, and that's down to 3.2 per 36 this season. His scoring has shot up despite fewer shot attempts, and he's also anchoring Indy's fourth-ranked defense.
He's also on "Parks and Rec." Come on, Frank.
Roy? Chop wood, carry water. Chop wood, carry water. Chop wood, carry water.
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