The Philadelphia 76ers have hired former NBA center Roy Hibbert as a player development coach, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. Hibbert was a 2x All-Star with the Indiana Pacers and had a respectable 9 year NBA career.
He’s mostly known for being a defensive anchor. He made the 2013-14 All-Defensive 2nd Team and averaged 1.7 blocks per game throughout his NBA career. Hibbert was a defensive stalwart in his prime and was a big part of the Pacers playoff success through 2011-14, where they made the Eastern Conference Finals twice.
Having Hibbert as a player development coach could be huge for the defensive development of the Sixers players, particularly the bigs. Embiid is well equipped defensively and has established himself as one of the best two-way players in the league. However, like any player, he still has his flaws. His blocks dropped from 2.5 per game in his rookie season to 1.8 in his 2nd and 1.9 in his 3rd. His block percentage decreased from 7.7% to 4.8% and 4.4% in his 2nd and 3rd seasons respectively.
Hibbert, who managed to sustain a 5.3 block percentage through his career could certainly help Embiid with his timing and verticality when jumping for blocks. He could also help out another young big on the team who has shown some defensive promise in Jonah Bolden.
Hiring Roy Hibbert could be a sneakily good move for the Sixers if he can help Embiid and some of the other young guys increase their defensive efficiency. Here’s to hoping that adding another 7 footer into the fold will lead to a positive outcome.