Pacers’ hard blows have been ignored
In response to the NBA’s suspension of Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem for a flagrant foul, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra claimed the Indiana Pacers have delivered some questionable hits on Dwyane Wade and LeBron James during the series without the league taking any action.
“The league does not have a problem with hard fouls on our two main guys,” Spoelstra told reporters Thursday before Game 6, according to ESPN.com. “In nine games now there’s been over a dozen hard fouls to the face, some of the tomahawk variety, some have drawn blood. They don’t have a problem with it, so we don’t have a problem with it. We’ll focus on what we can control.”
Spoelstra was referring to all nine games the Heat have played against the Pacers this season.
Tyler Hansbrough’s hard foul on Wade in Game 5 was upgraded from a flagrant 1 to a flagrant 2. But he was not suspended. Haslem’s flagrant foul on Hansbrough came immediately after that.
“I mean, Hansbrough, it’s not the first time he’s gone after one of our players this year,” James said. “We have two guys suspended and basically they have no one suspended.”
Heat forward Dexter Pittman was suspended for three games for leveling Lance Stephenson in the closing minutes of Game 5.
But the suspension of Haslem is the one that bothers the Heat.
“When you feel someone is taking a shot at one of your guys, your first reaction is you want to get them back, you want to retaliate,” Wade said, according to ESPN.com. “As you see, that doesn’t always work. It is always the second guy to get in trouble.”
Pacers coach Frank Vogel did not address the issue.
“We have no interest in that,” he said. “Our focus is on winning Game 6, nothing else. I’m not getting into all that.”