The Bankers Life Fieldhouse crowd held its collective breath when Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert crumpled to the floor grabbing his knee in the fourth quarter of the Pacers' 97-87 opening night win over the Orlando Magic. While Hibbert limped off the court and didn't return to the game, he took to Twitter afterward to assure everybody he was okay:
I'm all good people. Nothing to be nervous about. Can't wait to get on the court tomorrow and compete. Appreciate the love and support!— Roy Hibbert (@Hoya2aPacer) October 30, 2013
That's certainly great news for the Pacers, who rely on Hibbert to anchor their stingy defense, which was one of the best in the NBA last season.
Prior to the injury, Hibbert showed why he's one of the leading candidates for Defensive Player of the Year. The big man blocked seven shots in just 27 minutes, and per NBA.com's stats page, the Pacers' starting lineup had a stingy defensive rating of 57.7 in their 17 minutes on the floor together. Much of that can be attributed to Hibbert's paint presence.
Hibbert was also a beast on the glass, grabbing 12 rebounds in the first quarter and 16 for the game. Six of those rebounds were of the offensive variety.
Hibbert and the Pacers get right back to work Wednesday night against the new-look New Orleans Pelicans.