The Washington Post

Roy Hibbert whisperer John Thompson III is Wizards’ downfall in Game 2

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Georgetown Coach John Thompson III could’ve saved himself the hassle of traveling to Indianapolis for Game 2 and waited a couple more days to see former pupils Roy Hibbert and Otto Porter at Verizon Center, and maybe he would’ve if tickets weren’t so danged cheap. But after Hibbert’s zero-point, zero-rebound performance in Game 1, JTIII sensed he needed to be there.

Wizards fans wish he’d stayed home.

“I wanted to get there to give Roy some support,” Thompson told Comcast SportsNet before the game. “I think the main thing was just letting him know that we’re here for him. He has been struggling, he’s been beat up, he’s not playing well. I think the main thing, I just wanted to sit down in my own way and remind Roy that he’s still Roy and make sure he remembered who he was. I think he kind of got the message.”

Instead of remembering who he was, Hibbert must have imagined himself as Dwight Howard with a better free throw shot. After Thompson said Hibbert’s struggles were “fixed” and predicted that he’d have a good game, the Pacers center scored a season-high 28 points on 10-of-13 shooting.

“He’s been giving me a lot of pointers throughout the playoffs and I appreciate that,” Hibbert told TNT’s Tracy Wolfson after the game. “He’s a big part of my life.”

Potentially bad news for the Wizards: Thompson, who wore a red lapel and said he’s rooting for Washington, will be at Games 3 and 4 at Verizon Center. Porter might want to monopolize his former coach’s time.

Speaking of Porter, JTIII sees better days ahead for the Wizards rookie.

“I think Otto is going to be a terrific pro,” Thompson told Monumental Sports’s Casey Phillips. “You can’t go through what he went through — missing the summer league, then missing the preseason, then missing training camp, then missing the first however many games he missed — as a rookie and expect to be able to step right in. His team is winning, he’s learning, and I think this experience will be invaluable for him.”

Scott Allen writes about all things D.C. sports. Follow him on Twitter @ScottSAllen or e-mail him if you’ve got a tip to share.



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Scott Allen · May 8, 2014