Hibbert proves four-year players can shine

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Hibbert proves four-year players can shine

ORLANDO, Fla. The NBA for years has been about potential.

Look at the No. 1 pick in last June's NBA draft.

Cleveland rookie Kyrie Irving of Duke came into the NBA with a whopping - OK, not so whopping - 11 games under his belt.

And while Irving has certainly had a relatively smooth adjustment to the NBA, more often than not, it takes players time to develop.

But what about the four-year guys?

Often they find themselves pegged as productive college players with little potential to improve.

However, players such as Roy Hibbert are out to prove that theory wrong.

Hibbert, a fourth-year center named to his first all-star team, is an example of a four-year college player who continues to improve. After averaging 7.1 points as a rookie, Hibbert has increased his scoring every season.

He hits the all-star break averaging 13.8 points and a career-high 9.6 rebounds while shooting 51.2 percent from the field - that's also a career high.

Hibbert, with a camera in hand to tape all of the all-star festivities this weekend, takes pride in being a four-year guy who is recognized as one of the game's best players - something that doesn't happen too often in this day and age of the NBA.

"I'm just so proud I'm going to work hard and show that guys that go to school for four years can make an impact in this league," said Hibbert, who played four years at Georgetown. "Look at the story of (former Syracuse swingman) Wesley Johnson and the most famous one right now, (Harvard's) Jeremy Lin, guys that go to school for four years can go out there and have an impact on the game."

Isaiah Thomas diligently studying film at midnight on Friday

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Isaiah Thomas diligently studying film at midnight on Friday

Isaiah Thomas appears to be channeling the New England Patriots' "No days off" slogan.

The Boston Celtics guard spent Friday night, in the middle of the NBA offseason, studying film. He was up past midnight to take a look at Boston Celtics' game tape, according to ESPN.com's Chris Foresberg, who posted a picture on Twitter of Thomas hard at work.

Thomas finished the 2016-17 season with 28.9 points per game, 5.9 assists and 2.7 rebounds in 33.8 minutes. He helped the Celtics earn the NBA Eastern Conference's No. 1 seed, and contributed a handful of clutch performances as Boston charged to the Eastern Conference finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, who won the series, 4-1.

Jaylen Brown tweets his Drive-By Dunk Challenge

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Jaylen Brown tweets his Drive-By Dunk Challenge

Celtics forward Jaylen Brown joined in the Drive-By Dunk Challenge and tweeted a video that captured his thunderous slam.

MORE

We're thinking that's not a regulation height rim.

And the All-Star dunk contest next year might have to be sanctioned by NASCAR.