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Stan Van Gundy says Dwight Howard far better than Roy Hibbert

May 30, 2013|By Eric Pincus
  • Indiana Pacers' Roy Hibbert (55) attempts a shotover the Miami Heat's Chris Andersen, right.
Indiana Pacers' Roy Hibbert (55) attempts a shotover the Miami Heat's… (Joe Robbins / Getty Images )

Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert has been a force as his team battles the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Former Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy went on radio Thursday to remind listeners that Dwight Howard is a better center than Hibbert.

"Come on, that one's not close," said Van Gundy on Open Mike with Mike Bianchi on am740 the Game, "You could put that question to 30 general managers in the league -- and give them the choice -- and Indiana, out of loyalty, might take Hibbert although I would doubt it.  The other 29 would not even hesitate.  Everybody's taking Dwight."

Howard will hit free agency in July.  The Lakers hope to retain him but Howard is likely to listen to offers from teams such as the Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets and Atlanta Hawks.

"Roy Hibbert is playing the best basketball of his career right now," continued Van Gundy.  "He's really taking advantage of a very, very small Miami Heat team and a defender in Chris Bosh who right now in the series has just not stepped up into the battle at all."

Through 16 postseason games, Hibbert is averaging 16.2 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.1 blocks a night.  Where he's dramatically better than Howard is at the line, hitting 80.7%.

With the Lakers playing without Kobe Bryant (and most of the backcourt sidelined with injury), Howard averaged 17 points, 10.8 rebounds and 2.0 blocks a night through four games against the San Antonio Spurs in the first round.

Howard shot 61.9% from the field but just 44.4% from the line.  Hibbert is shooting 49.5% from the field throughout the playoffs.

The Pacers try to take a 3-2 series lead on the road in Miami on Thursday night.

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Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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