INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel does not believe his team got a "wake-up call" in a first-round series win over the Atlanta Hawks, but an easy argument could be made that Pacers center Roy Hibbert earned a fresh start after scoring 13 points and grabbing seven rebounds in a Game 7 win over the Hawks on Saturday.
The outburst came as a shock to many around the league after watching Hibbert not register a single point in Games 5 and 6. As the Pacers get set to open up an Eastern Conference semifinal matchup Monday night against the Washington Wizards, even Vogel isn't sure which Hibbert will show up to play.
"He's got an even-keel demeanor," Vogel said. "He does his work, he's intense. I don't think any coach can predict that on any player whether they're going to have a good night or not. It's just something you see play out as the night goes on."
Hibbert's teammates sound confident that the big man will continue playing like he did in Game 7.
"With Roy, it's all about seeing the ball go in," Pacers swingman Paul George said. "For him to be able to see the ball go in, you saw it throughout the game, his confidence got higher and higher. So now he knows he can make those shots. So I think he's going to come into games expecting to make those and delivering for us."
For his part, Hibbert seems like a guy who just wants to stay on the floor and block out all the rest of the noise. The Georgetown alum isn't worried about what it will feel like to go back and play in Washington, D.C.; he just wants to focus on putting together another good game.
"It's going to be a tough series," Hibbert said. "I haven't thought too much about playing at home, but they're a good team and we're on a mission."
It's a mission that the Pacers are happy to be on given how up and down they have been over the last couple months of the season. George admitted that it is a good thing that his team doesn't have much time in between games.
"It's good that we were able to win two games in a row, our last two games, and continue to keep playing," he said. "Right now, our rhythm is great. Guys are shooting the ball well, Roy's getting the confidence back, we're playing together, we're sharing the ball, our defense is starting to play -- so I think it would be a setback had we had a break and lost a little rhythm going into the next round."