Indiana Pacers beast is back...but for how long?

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Indiana Pacers have turned the tide of discontent in the last week with three excellent performances that have given them a 3-1 playoff series lead over the Washington Wizards.

Against all the odds, the Pacers managed to crawl through their first round playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks 4-3 despite horrific performances from their top players.

These out of character efforts continued in the first game of the Eastern Conference semi-finals against the Wizards, with Roy Hibbert failing to register a point or rebound for the second time in four games during the post-season.

Considering that Hibbert was the Pacers starting center through this period, it's a miracle they are still in the playoffs and Roy is still starting.

And it's likely they would have been on the wrong side of their series lead had Hibbert not awoken from his slump in Game 2 to hit 28 points against Washington.

That game has been the catalyst for three strong performances by Hibbert, and Paul George has also taken the lead, with the superstar putting up 39 points for the Pacers Sunday night as Indiana produced a 19-point comeback.

So what exactly happened to Hibbert between Game 1 and Game 2 of this series against the Wizards?

If Indiana go on to win the NBA title, the mystery surrounding Hibbert's bizarre turn in form will only grow and become more celebrated.

Confidence is a funny thing in sport, and although Hibbert had none last week, he now could be mistaken for Shaquille O'Neal.

Okay, that might be going a little far, but you get what I mean.

It has been widely reported that Hibbert and George went on a fishing trip in between those crucial Washington encounters.

This trip must have done the world of good for Hibbert, as his play shows. But not only that, he's even said that the move by George to invite him out was also very beneficial.

Such was his poor form that Hibbert must not even believed it himself. Often the best way to turn the tide is to not think too much and take some time away from the game.

George has definitely shown his abilities as a leader by helping out Hibbert.

Hibbert's scoring record this season has been average, but nonetheless he has been a solid performer for a Pacers side that won the top seed position in the East.

During the regular season Hibbert scored 10.8 points per game.

Ignoring his last three games, his post-season had been a far cry from those solid statistics.

Now the crazy thing with Hibbert is that he didn't just come back and start playing solid again. He's come back and dominated.

Andrew Bynum leaving the Pacers may have also helped Hibbert, but the explanation for his turn in form can be as simple as a fishing trip or as complex as unexplained.

All we know is that for now Hibbert is a different player, and the Pacers are a different team who could certainly win a championship.

Indiana Pacers
Paul George
NBA Playoffs

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