A little more than a month, roughly a quarter of the NBA season, had passed. Indiana center Roy Hibbert, after a summer that included signing a healthy contract extension, hovered near the bottom of the league’s field goal percentage stats.

Just what you want from your 7-foot-2 two-way anchor. Defense was no problem, but even Hibbert felt it would be a nice idea to put the ball in the basket on occasion. After 22 games, Hibbert was shooting .373 (87-of-233). He had a message for his mates:

Sorry guys. Real sorry. Honest to gosh, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye sorry, especially after that four-year, $56 million contract.

“I had a rough beginning of the season offensively. I didn’t start off the way I wanted,” Hibbert said. “I relied on my defense. Toward the end of the season, my offense started picking up and my defense was still solid and I said to myself, ‘I can start peaking toward playoff time.’ ”

But before that peaking, more apologies.

“It was too much,” said teammate David West, one of the guys who told Hibbert to quit apologizing. “Nobody’s going to play perfect every night. He was having an impact on the game defensively. He was just putting too much pressure on himself offensively.

“He worked his way out of it. He didn’t complain. He was just mature about it. He wasn’t blaming the offense and how plays were being run, he took it square in the chest.”