What's Buzzing:

Roy Hibbert remains in starting lineup for Pacers

The Associated Press
Roy Hibbert remains in starting lineup for Pacers
.

View photo

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 24: Roy Hibbert #55 of the Indiana Pacers stands on the court during a game against …

ATLANTA (AP) -- Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert was in the starting lineup for Game 4 of the NBA playoffs Saturday.

There was speculation Hibbert might be benched so the Pacers could go to a smaller lineup against the Atlanta Hawks. But coach Frank Vogel announced before the game that his 7-foot-2 center would be starting.

The eighth-seeded Hawks led No. 1 seed Indiana 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.

Hibbert was struggling to cope with an Atlanta team that's been spreading the court and forcing him away from the basket, which also seemed to be affecting his play at the offensive end.

He had only 25 points in the first three games and had yet to block a shot.

''He's struggling a little bit right now and he's got to play better,'' Vogel said.

The coach was asked what he wanted to see from Hibbert.

''Not to put pressure on himself,'' Vogel said. ''To play extremely hard. More than anything, to defend (Atlanta forward) Paul Millsap. I think his work on that matchup has been overlooked. I think he's done a really good job on him. In the post-ups in particular. And then to finish plays around the basket. We're not asking him to score 25 points a game in the low post, you know? But just finish basketball plays and not try to do too much.''

Vogel said he was thinking of the long-term implications of benching Hibbert so early in the playoffs, especially if the Pacers should advance.

''Yeah, it's part of it,'' the coach said. ''We're hoping this is going to be a long haul. Look, you're down 2-1, you're not down 3-0. You won 56 games with the lineup with him as your starting center. And I think you stick with what you do. If it's not working and you have to adjust in-game, we'll adjust in-game.''

---

AP Freelance Writer Amy Jinkner-Lloyd contributed to this report.

---

Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963

View Comments (12)
  • Thunder sign Spanish G Abrines

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The Oklahoma City Thunder have signed guard Alex Abrines to a multiyear contract. … More »

    AP - Sports - 5 hours ago
  • More 'B Team' than 'Dream Team' as U.S. eye Rio basketball gold

    More 'B Team' than 'Dream Team' as U.S. eye Rio basketball gold

    Despite missing the game's two best players the U.S. men's basketball team are still the slam dunk favorite to return home from the Rio Olympics with the gold medal. With many top players turning down a chance to throw on the Stars and Stripes, the … More »

    Reuters - 5 hours ago
  • US routs Argentina in first Rio tuneup

    US routs Argentina in first Rio tuneup

    Full of new star power - and dominant on the inside - the U.S. men's basketball team opened its bid for a third straight Olympic gold medal Friday night with a 111-74 exhibition romp over Argentina. A game that was over almost before it began … More »

    AP - Sports - Sat, 23 Jul, 2016 1:11 AM EDT
  • Hornets co-owner hits out at All Star Game move

    (Reuters) - Hornets co-owner Felix Sabates has blasted the NBA’s decision to move the 2017 All Star Game out of Charlotte, North Carolina due to its objections to a state law decried as discriminatory against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and … More »

    Reuters - Sat, 23 Jul, 2016 12:16 AM EDT
  • NBA-Hornets co-owner hits out at All Star Game move

    Hornets co-owner Felix Sabates has blasted the NBA's decision to move the 2017 All Star Game out of Charlotte, North Carolina due to its objections to a state law decried as discriminatory against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender … More »

    Reuters - Fri, 22 Jul, 2016 11:59 PM EDT