The towering center played sparingly in the Pacers' 100-94 loss to Detroit. Hibbert played just over six minutes, hitting one of two field goals and blocking one shot. He didn't play at all in the second half.
Hibbert, the No. 17 overall pick in this summer's NBA draft, battled for playing time all preseason with centers Jeff Foster and Rasho Nesterovic. It appears he might have lost out on most of it, at least at the start of the regular season.
Hibbert recently told NBA Fanhouse that he is adjusting to the speed and physical play of the NBA. He took a lot of fouls in the preseason, which he said is something he's working on.
"The league is such a faster pace than college, so I have to be able to read the game a lot quicker," Hibbert said. "I foul a lot, but I think I'm learning from it."
Hibbert's coach, Jim O'Brien, said the rookie has to learn what he can and cannot get away with in the paint in the NBA.
"The biggest thing we're trying to teach him is how to play basketball down low," O'Brien said. "When you're 7-foot-2, you really never had to do that in college or high school because you're always the biggest guy by far. Now there are people who are 7-foot every time out. And he's best when he's down low because it allows him to move efficiently."