For all the ridiculous, back-and-forth action between the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat, none will be more scrutinized than Miami's inbound pass with 2.2 seconds remaining in overtime. LeBron James caught the ball, realized Paul George slightly overplayed him and immediately drove to the basket. It was a fantastic play call from Erik Spoelstra, as LeBron had several options for open shots when the Pacers were forced to crash down upon him. As it turned out, he was quick enough to get to the basket for a layup to put the Heat up 1-0 in the series.
The question for the Pacers is whether 7'2'' center Roy Hibbert should have been there to protect the rim. Indiana coach Frank Vogel must have been concerned about Hibbert's ability to switch defenders and leave someone open, but his presence on the floor would have changed LeBron's options and likely caused him to settle for a jumper or kick it to someone else for a quick shot. Either way, there was much less chance of giving up a layup.
Either way, that's the way it went down and neither Hibbert nor Twitter were too impressed.
Great defense by the Pacers!LeBron's game winning layup in OT twitter.com/Ballislife/sta…— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) May 23, 2013
Why take Hibbert out? Why take Hibbert out? Why take Hibbert out? Why take Hibbert out? Why take Hibbert out? Why take Hibbert out?— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) May 23, 2013
Look, Vogel wanted to be able to switch everything. With Hibbert out there, you can't. PG needed to make LBJ shoot a jumper & he didn't.— Brett Koremenos (@BKoremenos) May 23, 2013
Vogel will have to answer press as to y HIBBERT a shot blocker was an assistant coach sitting on pine - I don't get it-protect the rim— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) May 23, 2013
Thank You @shaq Hibbert should have been on the floor. Even if Bosh catches it Hibbert guards him for 2 dribbles at the most. 2 sec left.— Mateen Cleaves (@Mateen_Cleaves) May 23, 2013
I do think you have to prioritize "1. No layups 2. No free throws 3. No jumpers." So you still need Hibbert.— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) May 23, 2013
When I saw Hibbert was out my thought was "Does Vogel really think it takes LeBron more than 2.2 seconds to go 20 feet?"— Ryan Ruocco (@RyanRuocco) May 23, 2013
Barkley says Vogel was right to have Hibbert on the bench because he couldn't defend a Bosh jumper. I disagree. Lose by jumper NOT a layup!— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) May 23, 2013
Vogel should apologize to his team for sabotaging their chance to win...Enormous coaching mistake...not once but twice...— Michael Wilbon (@RealMikeWilbon) May 23, 2013
Prior to Game I, Donnie Walsh texted Heat-Pacers series was "Speed and skill vs. size and inside presence." Vogel erased team's advantage.— Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) May 23, 2013
Was Vogel in the gym when Hibbert changed Game 6 by blocking Carmelo?— Michael Wilbon (@RealMikeWilbon) May 23, 2013
Frank Vogel was just outcoached. Hibbert on the bench was idiotic.— Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) May 23, 2013
2 seconds, not sure LeBron could have drawn in Hibbert, kicked it to Bosh for an open jumper that would have been released on time.— David Vertsberger (@_Verts) May 23, 2013
I've seen LeBron go left late, and have shots affected by Noah and Amare. Really, there's no good explanation for Hibbert sitting.— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) May 23, 2013