The stat lines indicated a mismatch, but were not nearly revealing enough. For the Knicks, Tyson Chandler: four points, three rebounds, fouled out. For the Pacers, Roy Hibbert: 14 points, eight rebounds, five blocked shots. Believe it, there was no bigger mismatch in the Pacers’ 102-95 victory over the Knicks in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals at the Garden yesterday. Hibbert bottled up the inside, played his usual physical style, altered shots and frustrated Chandler all afternoon. The Pacers were the NBA’s No. 1 rebounding team and the No. 1 field goal defensive team for a reason. And Hibbert was a big part — a huge part — of that. “In my estimation,” said Hibbert’s teammate, David West, “he is the best big defender in the league.” All that had a lot to do with some extra work when Hibbert first came in the league from Georgetown. “I did something a little unorthodox as a rookie and second-year player. Guys used to go home, but I used to take time off and come back in the summer,” explained Hibbert. “[Coach] Frank [Vogel] and I worked on drills and he sent me film on Dwight Howard going straight up in the post, and we worked on that in every workout during the summer my first two or three years. I was fouling way too much. I think I led the league in fouls per minute and Frank really worked with me on that.“ Yesterday, in what at times was a brutally officiated game, Chandler picked up one more foul than Hibbert and was banished with 2:36 left — just 10 seconds after he had picked up his fifth foul. Hibbert insisted he did not sense any frustration from his Knicks counterpart.
Roy, oh boy! Indy big man Hibbert shows his dominance
New York Post | May 6