Lemme guess, you saw a picture of an Indiana Pacer and you almost skipped over this post as a premeditated strike against boredom. Either that, or you did skip over this post as a premeditated strike against boredom and a buddy of yours who read this post told you later about how I predicted your actions. Either way, I’m in your head and I’m aware of how bored the Pacers make you. They’re as sleep-inducing as a belly full of crackers on a long, warm car ride. (What have I told you about eating crackers and falling asleep in cars? If you’re going to do it, at least let me drive). I’m sorry that you hate the Pacers and Indiana and probably Indy car racing. And indie rock. And India.Ari. And periods placed in the middle.of two words.for no apparent.reason. And free-association. I’m sorry for all of it, but this is fantasy basketball. It’s not supposed to be fun. So read on – against your better judgment – for a reason to draft Roy Hibbert a few rounds earlier than you were probably planning.
The Pacers are keen to move boldly into the Tyler Hansbrough era (yeah, brah!) with a 2010 lottery draft power forward side dish. It also matters that Hibbert will be the Man in the middle from here on out. He was the man in the middle last season, just not quite developed enough to capitalize the “m.”
Between his rookie season and last season, his percentages jumped significantly (.471 FG%, .667 FT% in ’08, .495/.754 in ’09) and he was able to distribute the ball twice as much in year two as he did in year one. But more than any other improvement, Hibbert settled down as a sophomore, learned a little, breathed in through the nose and out through the mouth. And while this rambunctiousness caused a small decline in his per36 stats, it will also be what allows him to remain in games longer (he averaged 10.5 more minutes per game ’09 than in ’08, yet only increased his per-game fouling by 0.4).
A seachange is a transformation that occurs gradually over time and when the transformation is complete, the form may look the same, but the substance is different. In basketball, this transformation often manifests fully in a player’s third year – a threechange, if you will (you will). Hibbert has improved steadily in his first two seasons and the third looks to offer him more playing time, more responsibility and bigger expectations.
Season Projections: .525/.759/0 3ptm/14.5 pts/7 rbd/2.5 ast/0.5 stl/2 blk/2 tov