|What happened to you Roy?|
On March 4 the Pacers were 46-14 (.767), owners of the best record in the NBA. Since that time they're 12-15 (.444). Indiana is about to lose to the worst team in the playoffs (a club that wouldn't even have sniffed the postseason had they been in the other conference, where the 48-34 Suns didn't qualify).
Center Roy Hibbert posted 0 points and 0 rebounds yesterday. Hibbert was an All-Star this season. He's the first starting center to go scoreless and rebound-less while taking at least two shots and picking up four or more fouls in an NBA playoff game in over 20 years.
Last season when reserve center Jason Collins was temporarily starting for the Celtics, I wrote about his uncanny ability to pick up more fouls than points and rebounds combined. But even career backup Collins never went 0/0 in that time.
So what's happened to Hibbert and the Pacers? For 75% of the season they were the best team in the league, but now they've become a squad that looks like it should be in the lottery (if the Celtics hosted Indiana tonight, I honestly wouldn't know who to bet on).
Could it be the curse of Andrew Bynum? His first appearance with the team coincides with the time their struggles began. The most reasonable explanation is that something off the court that we don't yet know about tore this team apart. Just a complete shot in the dark, but my guess is when we eventually find out it's going to involve Hibbert, fellow All-Star Paul George, probably a women or two (or maybe not? I'm not insinuating anything, but if it didn't it would go a long way towards explaining the sudden lack of team chemistry), and some sort of uncomfortable sexual incident.