Tonight, Indiana Pacers big man Roy Hibbert is expected to see heavy minutes defensively against Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins. Hibbert knows he has a challenge on his hands.
“He’s a big physical presence,” the Pacers big man said of Cousins following Indiana’s shoot-around at Power Balance Pavilion this afternoon.
So, how does Hibbert approach the match-up against Cousins?
“What I plan on doing is just making it hard for him to catch (the ball),” he said. “And then just going ahead and making sure he shoots over me…”
According to Hoopdata, the Kings big man is shooting best this season closest to the rim (48.7 percent) and from 16 to 23 feet from the basket (47 percent). Hibbert might be able to slow Cousins down by forcing the Kings big man anywhere from three to nine and 10 to 15 feet, where he shoots just 26.9 and 30 percent from the field respectively.
The Pacers big man also knows it’ll be crucial to keep Cousins off the glass. At 16.2 percent for the season, Cousins ranks second in the league in offensive rebounding percentage.
“And keeping him off the boards,” he continued. ”That’s probably the biggest things that I’m going to do tonight.”
Both Hibbert and Cousins currently average 9.8 rebounds per contest.