Hibbert healthy for tonight
Pacers center Roy Hibbert, who had to leave Thursday’s game against New York because of back spasms, was a full participant in shootaround Saturday morning and will play in tonight’s game against Charlotte at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Pacers are coming off impressive homecourt wins over Miami on Tuesday and New York on Thursday, and are heading to Brooklyn’s new arena on Sunday to play the Nets. Tonight’s challenge, then, becomes overlooking the Bobcats, who are just 9-26.
Coach Frank Vogel will call upon recent history to remind his players not to take the night off.
“They beat Chicago (on Dec. 31) and that’s the difference in the Central Division right now,” Vogel said. “We have a one-game lead over Chicago, and the reason we have that is because Charlotte went into their building and won. We can’t suffer the same fate.”
Vogel also can remind his players that they lost at Charlotte on Nov. 2, 90-89, two nights after they had opened the season with a win at Toronto.
“We have a healthy respect for what they can do,” Vogel said. “We’re excited about where we’re at, leading the division, but we have Chicago breathing down our necks. Every game matters.”