MIAMI -- The Indiana Pacers feel like the Miami Heat's game plan, and especially Shane Battier's, in the Eastern Conference finals is to intimidate them with physical play. Heading into Game 2 Friday against the defending NBA champs, the Pacers want the message to be that they will not be affected by it.
Pacers center Roy Hibbert criticized Battier on Twitter on Thursday for a play in Game 1 where Battier kneed him in the midsection on a drive to the basket. Battier was called for an offensive foul. Hibbert said the blow was intentional and was aimed at getting him to not be as aggressive in defending the rim.
"I've never seen [Battier] do that before. I didn't think that was cool of him. ... I personally thought it wasn't a regular shooting motion for a layup, his knee was out to begin with," Hibbert said after the Pacers' shootaround Friday. "It was him saying, 'I'll hit you first now, and maybe you won't be there later on,' and I'm saying, I'm going to be there."
Both coaches downplayed the events of the game, which included several borderline plays, including Heat guard Norris Cole being called for a foul for hitting the Pacers' David West between the legs. Battier did not speak to the media Friday.
Asked about Hibbert's take on Battier, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said: "The game will be decided between the four lines tonight. Everything else is just talk."