The 25-year-old is beginning to put it all together, and his maturity is a major reason the Pacers have risen from also-ran status to contenders this season. Hibbert has been getting tutelage from an unlikely mentor, San Antonio center Tim Duncan, who has been helping him with his skills in the paint and outside the lines.
"We sat down and talked to see how he goes about his business," Hibbert said of the Big Fundamental. "He doesn't get too high or too low. I model my game after him. He texts me after every game. I'm very appreciative."
Vogel was grateful he had Hibbert in Game 3.
"One of the best games I've ever seen him play," he said.
Without Bosh, Spoelstra, who started Dexter Pittman at center in Game 3, doesn't have an answer inside for Hibbert, who helped the Pacers outrebound the Heat 52-36.
Miami's next rebound, though, must be to even the series at 2-2 and get back to Florida, where Bosh has remained to get extensive rehab so he can return in the next round.
A loss on Sunday would put the Heat on the brink of elimination, well short of a championship Miami has craved since losing in the finals last season.
While others have their doubts about Miami's chances, Spoelstra believes his team can bounce back.
"Everything can change in the next two days with a win, and we have a lot of veteran guys who understand that," he said. "We're fine and that extra day of rest will help us."
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