NBA Playoffs 2013: Miami's struggles with Roy Hibbert

Joe Robbins

Miami must overcome the giant presence of Roy Hibbert in Game 5. Properly boxing out is just one aspect the Heat must improve in order to slow down the big man.

Roy Hibbert dominated Game 4 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals. The Miami Heat had no response for the Indiana Pacers' big man as he took advantage of Miami's smaller defensive front court and was active on the offensive glass. Miami must make a focused effort to play physical against Hibbert or he will continue to swing the series in Indiana's favor.

Hibbert's effectiveness at grabbing offensive rebounds has been amplified throughout the series. During the regular season Hibbert was second in the league in offensive rebound percentage, grabbing an average of 14.8 percent of the available missed shots on offense. In four games against Miami in the Eastern Conference finals, he's pulling down 21.8 percent of Indiana's misses. The league leader through the regular season was Reggie Evans at 15.5 percent.

Miami has to do a better job of keeping a body on Hibbert.

Here, both Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem challenge David West while he puts up a difficult shot. Both of Miami's bigs are occupied challenging a single shot, and neither LeBron James or Mario Chalmers rotate to box out Hibbert.

1_1_medium

Hibbert grabs the rebound while surrounded by four Heat players. The only defender in front of Hibbert is Chalmers, who has no chance at making a play against at the rim. Hibbert easily scores over Chalmers. Miami has to make an effort to box out Hibbert and make him work to grab the offensive rebound.

1_2_medium

1_3_medium

Aside from not properly boxing out, another reason Hibbert is rebounding at high rate is the Heat overcommitting to challenging shots. Their perimeter defenders must do a better job of containing dribble penetration in isolation, and their interior defense must make better decisions.

Here, Ray Allen can't stop Lance Stephenson in isolation and Chris Andersen rotates to challenge the shot. This is another instance of Miami committing too many defenders. A total of three Heat defenders surround Stephenson, who misses, but Hibbert is able to score on the putback without any resistance.

Boxout1_medium

***

It's not just second-chance points, though. Hibbert is shooting 62 percent around the rim through the series. In Game 4, he was decisive with the ball in his hands, not hesitating to score over the top of Bosh or Andersen.

Here, Hibbert has the ball in good position against Bosh. Both Dwyane Wade and Haslem are cheating to the paint, but because Hibbert wastes no time once he has the ball, they are unable to help.

2_1_medium

2_2_medium

Hibbert is actively fighting for position in the low-post, and it is inevitable that he will seal his man throughout the course of the game. When that happens, the nearest defender to Hibbert must be ready to rotate to help. In the instance above, Wade needs to dig deeper into the paint so he can immediately help Bosh.

Adjust_medium

While Wade would leave Stephenson on the perimeter, this forces Hibbert to pass out of the post. Leaving their big men, especially an undersized Bosh, in isolation to defend Hibbert isn't going to work. It's a small adjustment, but Wade moving a few inches closer to Hibbert can make a difference.

The Heat's frontcourt must also do their part in staying in front of Hibbert. Here, Andersen is doing a good job of fronting Hibbert and denying him deep position.

3_1_medium

Andersen makes the mistake of taking his body off of Hibbert, however, and gives him a lane to seal him in the post.

Badbird_medium

Why did Andersen step away from Hibbert? Andersen started to cheat towards the ball-handler, anticipating dribble penetration. This is a mistake, as Miami's defense had Paul George contained by both James and Shane Battier. George has to pass the ball to the perimeter to reset the offense. West sees that Hibbert has great position on Andersen, hits him with the pass, and he scores over the top of Andersen. Miami's defense tries to help, but it's too late.

3_2_medium

3_3_medium

3_4_medium

***

Hibbert and the Pacers are proving to be a serious threat to the Heat's quest for their third-straight trip to the NBA finals. Miami faces a challenge many anticipated when the team was brought together -- it has to find a way to deal with an elite threat in the post.

With the series tied, 2-2, Miami heads home for Game 5 and has a chance to move one game closer to the NBA Finals. How the Heat deal with Hibbert will be a determining factor.

More from SB Nation:

Twitter dating: Quincy Pondexter asks out Miss Tennessee

The argument for paying your GM lots of money

Dwyane Wade is hurting the Heat

LeBron, West fined for double flop

Coach Mailman? Karl Malone joins Jazz staff

NBA mock draft 2013: Going away from the consensus | SB Nation's Big Board

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.