Roy Hibbert

Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert improved his ability to block shots without fouling by watching the NBA’s best center — ironically, the missing anchor in the middle for the Orlando Magic in this NBA playoff series.

Hibbert said watching film of Magic All-Star Dwight Howard helped him understand how to jump straight up with his arms extended to contest shots.

Hibbert set a franchise playoff record by blocking nine shots in Game 1 Saturday.

Howard is out for the rest of the season with a back problem.

“I watched tape of Dwight do that when I was a rookie when he was in the playoffs,” Hibbert said. “I tried to learn some things and it’s been working for me.”

– Reported by Mike Wells of theĀ Indianapolis Star