By Tom Ziller

It may be the age of point guards, but center remains the NBA’s most important position. The Indiana Pacers and Roy Hibbert offer a measure of evidence. When Hibbert’s been alive, as he was on Sunday as Indiana smoked Miami for a Game 1 victory, the Pacers have looked fantastic.

But, of course, Hibbert is an All Star because of his defense. He’s one of the best stoppers in the league, using his 7’2 frame, long arms and smarts to make life difficult in the paint for opponents. Among the 77 players who defended at least five shots in the paint per game, Hibbert conceded the second lowest opponent shooting percentage. This is his skill: closing down the lane to aggressors. He’s very good at it, and it’s a very important skill to have.

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