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Roy Hibbert believes Shane Battier’s knee to his groin in Game 1 was intentional

May 23, 2013, 7:01 PM EDT

Late in the first quarter of the Heat’s overtime Game 1 win over the Pacers, Shane Battier drove into the lane and challenged Roy Hibbert on a layup attempt. Battier’s form was more than a little unorthodox as he went up for the shot, leading with his right knee that caught Hibbert squarely below the belt.

Battier was ruled for the offensive foul on the play, and the referees actually reviewed it to see if there was the possibility that it could be ruled a flagrant  — something extremely rare when fouls are made by the offensive player.

The play stood as a common foul, and because it occurred so early in a game with so many dramatic moments that decided it late, it was largely forgotten.

A day later, however, Hibbert took to his Twitter account to remind us of what had happened, and to let us know that he didn’t believe that the contact was in any way accidental.

It’s an interesting thing to bring up a day later, considering all that went down in the game after this particular play had happened. Perhaps Hibbert saw it again in a film session, or was reminded of it while meeting the media after practice. But for whatever reason it was still on his mind, and he wanted to make sure everyone knew he didn’t appreciate Battier’s actions.

As for whether or not it was intentional, only Battier can answer that question. It’s doubtful that there was an intent to injure on Battier’s part, but once he saw Hibbert was there and that he’d have zero chance of scoring over him, that’s when he likely decided to lead with the knee in an obvious attempt to make contact to try to draw the foul.

It’s worth noting that there were a few other incidents involving Battier and Pacers’ players in this one, and even another “low blow” scenario involving one of Battier’s teammates.

In the fourth quarter, Norris Cole caught David West with a shot to the groin as West stepped out to defend him. The referees saw it and whistled Cole for the foul, but again, no flagrant. We’ll see if that changes as the series goes on if the Heat decide to continue to target this particular region when attacking their opponents.

  1. leahcima1 - May 24, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    It has amazed me forever that the fans of the losing team blame the referees, always finding some phantom missed call or a call that the ref obviously made to deprive their team of a victory. Have any of these fans ever refereed a game? No. Do any of these fans study the rules, attend rules seminars or go over tape? No. Do any of these fans see what the ref sees standing a few feet away from the play while the fan sits hundreds of miles away watching television? No. In a fact the fans are unqualified. The refs are qualified. Yes the refs miss calls. No they don’t do it on purpose. Is an error free game possible? No. Finally, why is it that in the long run the better team always wins regardless of whether the ref was trying to screw you or not?

    • pacersfan1 - May 24, 2013 at 12:01 PM

      The Heat won the game and front running drakkar smelling Heat fans are still complaining about the refs. Explain that one.

      • yuwannano - May 24, 2013 at 3:35 PM

        LOL @ “drakkar smelling Heat fans”

  2. miamatt - May 24, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    Whether you think Battier was intentionally going for the groin or not, this is clearly a win for the Heat. The Pacers’ big man whining on twitter after Game 1? Indiana’s getting steamrolled, folks.

  3. drakost - May 24, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    Foul? Yes. Flagrant? No, not enough to show intent. Did he do it purposely? Wether he did or not, I’d expect a Kevin Mchale type clothesline the next time he drives the lane on the big fella.

  4. stayhigh_247 - May 25, 2013 at 1:32 AM

    That has Pat Riley written all over it! Go Pacers!!

  5. stayhigh_247 - May 25, 2013 at 1:34 AM

    Hibbert or West needs to greet Shane with an elbow to the face the next time he drives to the cup, on accident of course.

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