Indiana Pacers Say Shane Battier is a Dirty Player

An underrated, and perhaps one-sided feud in the Eastern Conference Finals is the one between Roy Hibbert and Shane Battier. The big fella, for the second time in this increasingly-testy series, is calling out the Miami Heat role player for dirty tactics. Hibbert and some other Indiana Pacers (notably, David West) accuse Battier of going after their knees. Per the Indy Star and ESPN: “‘I always have to have my guard up and protect my knees when he’s on me,’ West said. ‘He’s got this funny way of moving into your knees, so we’re very conscious of that. So we talk about protecting our knees. It’s an irritant. I’m doubly conscious of it because of my own knee issues (an ACL surgery before last season). You just know the way he plays, he’s trying to make an impact any way he can, so you just have to be prepared for everything.’ […] ‘I know what (Battier) brings to the game and it’s worked for him in the past. He has to do whatever he has to do to make sure his team wins,’ Hibbert said. ‘I’m going to watch my knees, watch my groin. … To tell you the truth, I don’t care. I’m in there, I’m playing tough. He has to do what he has to do. Obviously I don’t like it but it’s a part of the game. I don’t want to look back say I gave in to a dirty player.’ Battier has declined to discuss the Pacers’ opinion of his style of play during the series. An undersized power forward, Battier did say Thursday there’s a challenge when guarding larger players like West and Hibbert in the post. At different times, Battier has also been accused of being a flopper. ‘In a perfect world, we’d all love to be stoic, immovable forces where the force of very large men throwing themselves into you doesn’t affect you,’ Battier said. ‘Yeah, that’d be great. But unfortunately, there’s a thing called physics involved that seems to win out more often than not.’ The Pacers stopped short of saying Battier was purposely trying to injure them.”