Hibbert's Play, Travis Best, Quadruple-Doubles and More
by Mark Montieth | firstname.lastname@example.org
February 26, 2013
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Q. I am 23 years old have been a Pacers fan my entire life. I have been attending regular season and playoff games since I can remember, I can name players that have been on the team that people haven't even heard of, and I can remember all draft picks, even European, from the past 10 years.
There is a tradition in Bankers Life Field-house that I love but just don't understand. Whenever a Pacer goes to the line for two free-throws, the public address announcer yells, "two shots" and the crowd replies, "two-AH!" The same also happens with two minutes left in the quarter. I also noticed it on the back of the gold-out shirts against the Heat last year: "Round 2, 2-ahh."
My friends and I purchased a ticket package this year and are attending more games than ever and we were all wondering what are the roots of this tradition. I have tried doing internet research of my own on the topic and am coming up with nothing.
A. That goes back to the previous public address announcer, Reb Porter, who went back to the ABA days. He made that a trademark call, calling out “two minutes, two-ahh!” in each quarter. Reb retired after the 2010-11 season.
Q. I have a question that may be completely off the wall, but I grew up in the 90s and Pacers basketball was so great to watch. I idolized Travis Best. Do you know what he is doing now? I wish there was some way I could meet him.
A. Travis is living in Atlanta. He attended Reggie Miller's Hall of Fame induction, and reportedly has attended a few Pacers games this season, although I have yet to see him. I've tried to reach him for my One on One radio program, but have yet to succeed.
Travis was/is a good guy, and I'm sure he'd be happy to talk with you if you got the chance. I once wrote a story for the Star about a high school player named Travis Best, who later went to Louisville and Purdue. I invited the high school Travis to a practice so they could meet. Pacer Travis' older brother had died just a few days earlier, but he met with young Travis and was very accommodating.
Best wound up asking for a trade from the Pacers when Jamaal Tinsley was given the starting job as a rookie. Best was in the final year of a contract at the time and wanted a chance to play. He wound up part of the trade with Chicago that brought in Brad Miller, Ron Artest, Kevin Ollie and Ron Mercer.
Q. Has anyone in Pacers or NBA history scored a quadruple-double?
A. Not in Pacers' history, at least not in the NBA years. Blocked shots, steals and turnovers were not recorded throughout most of the ABA seasons, so we don't know for sure. The Pacers have had 33 triple-doubles in the NBA, including three this season, but ABA triple-doubles were not noted. That would require a search of every ABA box score. Sounds like a job for an intern, eh? (Kidding!)
I'm guessing the Pacers' first triple-double came courtesy of Reggie Harding, a 7-footer who played 25 games for the Pacers in their first season (1967-68). He had 30 points and 22 rebounds on March 14 against Minnesota, which had a rookie center by the name of Mel Daniels. Blocked shots were not kept, but the newspaper account of the game stated Harding “pounded at least 10 shots back at the stunned Muskies.”
Only four quadruple-doubles have been recorded in NBA history, from David Robinson, Hakeem Olajuwon, Alvin Robertson and Nate Thurmond. Larry Bird once had 30 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists and nine steals after the third quarter of a game at Utah, but declined to play in the fourth quarter because the game was already in hand.
Q. Nice job (on the story of Roger Brown's election to the Hall of Fame). One note: Oscar Robertson is not a native of Indianapolis. Much as we like to claim him, and he did grow up in Indy, he was born in Charlotte, Tennessee.
A. You are correct, and I knew better. His family moved to Indianapolis when he was four years old.
Q. What do you believe the problem is with Hibbert? Conditioning, health, effort or he's simply having a bad year and his skills peaked last season? If he doesn't improve, what do we do with him?
A. You asked this question early in February, and Hibbert has played somewhat better since then. Still, his season has been puzzling. He's averaging 9.9 points on 41 percent shooting as of Saturday's game with Detroit. He was averaging 11.1 points on 48 percent shooting for his four-year career heading into the season and averaged 12.8 points of 50 percent shooting last season.
The Pacers would be happy with last season's production, obviously. There's no reason for him not to shoot about 50 percent from the field. Given the makeup of the current roster, he doesn't need to score that much, just provide a legit low-post threat that draws the attention of the defense and creates opportunities for players on the perimeter. His focus should be defense and rebounding, where he's been adequate. Many of his offensive rebounds, however, have come from tips of his owned missed shots, so it's a bit misleading.
It's not an issue of conditioning, health or effort. My best guess is that he put pressure on himself to produce early in the season because of his new contract, and then lost confidence. Over the last three games (prior to Detroit on February 23), at least, he's hit 13-of-22 shots, so we'll see how it goes from here.
What do the Pacers do with him? They're likely married to him for awhile, as teams aren't likely to give up much for a player with Hibbert's contract and current production. The best hope is that he'll put more time into developing scoring weapons around the basket. He sometimes shoots with his body twisted at odd angles, and sometimes isn't even looking at the rim when he shoots. He needs to have a dependable jump hook, hook shot, or turnaround jumper around the basket. He's not that gifted athletically – if he was, he would have been drafted well before the Pacers got to him at 17th – but he can still be an effective player on a winning team if he improves offensively.
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