Pacers center Roy Hibbert said Thursday that he believes Heat forward Shane Battier intentionally delivered a low blow during Miami's 103-102 Game 1 victory.
"[You] can knee or kick me every time [you] drive [to] the rim," Hibbert wrote on his Twitter account. "I'll be there [to] protect the rim. That wasn't inadvertent. Battier knew what he was doing."
The Eastern Conference finals got off to a painful start when Battier's right knee hit Hibbert in the groin during the first quarter of Game 1 on Wednesday.
With the game tied at 18 and just under three minutes remaining in the first period, Battier attacked the paint from the left angle. Hibbert slid over from the weakside in an attempt to take a charge, and Battier rose directly into the 7-foot-2 center with his right knee extended. Hibbert's attempt to block the shot never really materialized, as the blow to his groin doubled him over and sent him sprawling to the court.
Although it initially appeared as if Battier would be assessed a flagrant foul on the play, the referees opted for a standard personal foul.
Battier finished with three points (on zero-for-four shooting) and one rebound in 31 minutes.
Miami prevailed in overtime thanks to a LeBron James game-winner. Game 2 is set for Friday in Miami.
Hat tip: ESPN.com