Originally written on Crossover Chronicles  |  Last updated 11/14/14
When the Portland Trail Blazers offered Roy Hibbert a max $58.4 million, four-year deal it seemed like it was asking a lot from a one-time All Star who had a strong start to the shortened 2012 season, but struggled to the end. Hibbert was improving and had become a good player, but perhaps not someone you throw a max contract at and build a team around. There were concerns when the Pacers decided to match that offer sheet, locking them into Hibbert and Danny Granger long term with David West's free agency upcoming and an untapped talent in Paul George. Hibbert and Granger were borderline all stars but did not have the consistency to be the bedrock of a championship franchise. For a team on the rise, that did not seem to fit in. Or so we thought. Hibbert was clearly a big part of what the Pacers want to build. Good centers are hard to find. Even with countless examples of centers overpaid simply for the use of their size. His first year on that massive contract was not near the all star levels he displayed in the lockout-shortened 2012 season. He averaged 11.9 points and 8.3 rebounds per game this year but established himself as one of teh contenders for the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year Award. His Pacers were the third seed in the Eastern Conference for the full 82-game season and many feel they have a chance to make the Conference Finals and -- gasp -- challenge the Heat. That is all a ways away. The five-year pro still needed to prove himself in the Playoffs crucible. Against the Knicks, his play has been absolute key to the Pacers' 2-1 series lead. In the 2013 Playoffs, Hibbert is averaging 14.7 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. He has upped his game against the Knicks, averaging 14.7 points and 10.7 rebounds per game in the three games so far. There is something to be said for consistency in this case. No game seemed bigger than Hibbert's 24-point, 12-rebound effort against the Knicks in Game Three on Saturday which had Hibbert entertaining the idea of wearing a monacle to the postgame press conference. That is confidence. Hibbert is feeling confidence now as he has proven himself to be the key for the Pacers when they win. Hibbert averages 17.3 points and 9.5 rebounds per game in wins and 9.3 points and 9.3 rebounds per game in losses. It seems that Hibbert has been key for the Pacers playoff success. New York has not been able to solve him even with former Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler. The Heat do not seem to have the center to solve him either. With Hibbert, it seems like he knows he has to shed the pre-draft conceptions that he is lazy. He spent the summer refining his game with Tim Duncan. It appears to be working as Hibbert goes through a strong postseason and makes his case to be one of the NBA's best centers. [follow]
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Brandon Jennings to miss 6-9 months with Achilles injury

Report: Josh Gordon tests positive for alcohol

Report: Yankees reject A-Rod's request for apology meeting

Jim Harbaugh has landed three recruits in 24 hours

Report: NFL tried to catch Patriots in the act

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

John Harbaugh: Bill Belichick is best coach of this century

Van Gundy rips Bulls management about Thibs

NFL warns Seahawks about 'obscene gestures'

Lane Kiffin will remain with Alabama in 2015

Colts LB Andrew Jackson arrested on DUI charge

Sam Shields: Dez Bryant catch should have counted

Duke unveils 'K' hats after Coach K's 1,000th victory

Irina Shayk dumped Ronaldo over cheating rumors?

Mike Napoli almost retired because of sleep apnea

WATCH: 'Saturday Night Live' takes on Deflategate

Should Tom Izzo be worried about his Spartans?

Five potentially fatal flaws for Seahawks in the Super Bowl

WATCH: Urban, OSU students send message to Mark May

The five best Super Bowl matchups ever

WATCH: Mike Riley gets big welcome at Nebraska game

Leonard Fournette's brother commits to LSU

Bledsoe not happy about other QBs trashing Brady

Red Sox P Joe Kelly predicts he will win Cy Young Award

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Brandon Jennings out 6-9 months

Josh Gordon tests positive for alcohol

Report: A-Rod's apology meeting request gets rejected

Harbaugh rapidly landing recruits

WATCH: 'SNL' spoofs Deflategate

NFL tried to catch Pats in act?

Bill Nye: Belichick didn't make sense

Is it time for Tom Izzo to worry?

Jennings suffers horrific injury

Seahawks GM: I love Lynch's act

Lane Kiffin staying with Alabama

Belichick goes 'My Cousin Vinny'

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.