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Friday 2 p.m. update: Pacer calls out "dirty" Heat plays; Barkley on Wade, Heat fans; Fins ripped

The Friday media column is below, for those who haven't seen it yet. First, though, an update from Heat and Pacers shootarounds Friday morning:

Call it Groin Gate or whatever you wish. 

But two Indiana players on Friday expressed dismay about two Heat offensive fouls, by Shane Battier and Norris Cole, that inflicted discomfort around the groin area of Roy Hibbert and David West in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. 

Speaking hours before Game 2, Indiana forward Paul George went as far as to call the plays “dirty” and “not called for.”

The Battier foul, in the first quarter, was a knee to Hibbert’s midsection as Battier drove for a layup. On the other play, Cole used his arm to push off West and made hard contact with West’s groin area, with 3:01 left in the fourth quarter.  

“That’s not aggressive, not a basketball play,” George said. “It’s not a tough play. It’s a dirty play.”

On Wednesday night, Hibbert said – via Twitter: “You can knee or kick me every time you drive 2 the rim. I’ll be there to protect the rim. That wasn’t inadvertent. Battier knew what he was doing.”

Asked Friday why he made that comment on Twitter, Hibbert said: “The reason I said something is I saw someone write it’s an inadvertent knee. That’s bull [expletive]. He knew what he was doing. If he wants to do that, it’s fine. I’m still going to be there to protect the rim.”

Hibbert said he believes it was intentional because “it wasn’t a regular shooting motion for a layup. You don’t shoot with your knee by your nipple unless you’re trying to do something. [But] I wasn’t whining. It was an offensive foul. I’m cool with that.”

Hibbert said he “thought” about retaliating against Battier “but I said I need to be in the game to really make an impact. In my younger days, I probably would have done something. We need every possible body out there.”

But Hibbert said he understands “it’s playoff basketball. We’re tough guys. I wasn’t saying coach needs to send this into the league. I was just saying, ‘I’ll be here no matter what, David will be here no matter what.’ They want to play tough. That’s what they have to do. We’re not backing down.”

As of Friday afternoon, neither Battier nor Cole had responded to George’s and Hibbert’s comments. Battier did not address the media after Friday’s shoot-around, and George made his comment about Cole’s foul after Cole already had left AmericanAirlines Arena.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra and Pacers coach Frank Vogel declined to specifically discuss the Battier play.

But Vogel said: “I don’t think Shane Battier is a dirty player. I just think it’s teams playing hard. I don’t think there’s anything dirty about this series. We’re competing for a championship. It’s going to be intense, relentless and physical.”

### Mario Chalmers (shoulder injury) went through shootaround and is expected to play in Game 2, barring a setback.
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FRIDAY MEDIA COLUMN; (Twitter: @flasportsbuzz)

The conversation has played out a couple times on TNT in recent weeks – Charles Barkley insisting Dwyane Wade “is not the same player,” and Shaquille O’Neal responding with a stern “Leave Dwyane alone.”

Speaking in the TNT green room before Game 1 Wednesday night, both NBA legends tackled the Wade topic from different perspectives, this time without the glare of the cameras.

For starters, Barkley wants to make one thing clear: “I have nothing against Dwyane" -- his former partner on T-Mobile ads. "But I’m going to do my job.”

And? “He’s not the same explosive player he was a couple years ago,” Barkley reiterated, adding it “annoys me” when people criticize him for saying that.

“You’ve only had one good three-minute stretch in the playoffs,” Barkley said of Wade, who is averaging 13.7 points, 5.3 assists and 4.9 rebounds this postseason while battling through a knee injury. The Heat obviously would disagree with that assertion.

“And he’s hurt all the time," Barkley added. "That tells me Father Time is kicking in…. That’s one of the reasons I don’t like these reporters in Miami. You can’t say anything about these guys without them over-reacting.

Kobe Bryant is not the same guy. Tim Duncan is not the same guy. They don’t whine like the Heat does. One thing about these fans and the media here, they’re a whiny bunch.”

(In a matter unrelated to Wade, Barkley said on air an hour later that the Heat tends “to over-react anytime you don’t kiss their [butt].”)

Making a point not to whine, I mentioned to Sir Charles – who won a Sports Emmy for studio analysis earlier this month – that Wade still averaged 21.2 points and shot 52.1 percent this season.

“That’s because he’s playing with LeBron James,” Barkley said, adding that Wade is still a good player “but LeBron covers up all their flaws.”

Is Wade still an All-Star in his opinion? “If he played well enough to be an All-Star,” Barkley answered. “I don’t give those lifetime achievement awards. I do it every year.”

But Barkley -- who picked the Pacers to win this series in six games -- worries that “once you start getting hurt, I don’t think you ever get healthy again.”

(Barkley, on Dan Le Batard's radio show Thursday, said Wade "played very well" in Game 1 but "didn't look explosive to me.) 

Shaq, meanwhile, looks at his former teammate and says: “D-Wade still has it. He still has the same skill set and same mindset. He’s smart enough - because I helped team him – to pace himself. The last five minutes of the Chicago series, it was explosive basketball.”

O’Neal says James’ presence “is going to add two years” to Wade’s career: “Now he doesn’t have to do as much.”

### Game 1 on TNT was viewed in 24.4 percent of Miami-Fort Lauderdale homes with TV sets (396,000 homes) – the highest local cable rating since Game 7 of last year’s Heat-Celtics Eastern Finals generated a 25.0… Nationally, Game 1 drew 8.2 million viewers, dwarfing the 4.7 million average for the first two games of the Western Finals.

RIP-JOB ON FINS

The Dolphins couldn’t have expected the rip-job that NFL Network and Fox analyst and former Miami fullback Heath Evans unleashed recently against general manager Jeff Ireland and his personnel decisions on an appearance on WINZ-940’s Dolphins-owned radio show.

“This might end up being a nightmare for Jeff Ireland, in every single one of these decisions,” Evans said. “GMs I talk to around the league saying, ‘This is Jeff Ireland being Jeff Ireland throwing around monopoly money.’ That’s not the way to win championships.”

Evans is entitled to his opinion, but a couple of his comments were irrational or unsupported by fact.

Perhaps the most head-scratching was this remark about Dion Jordan: “Anytime he’s in the game, he’s a liability. I don’t care if he gives you 18 sacks next year. The negative impact of him on the field for most of true football situations is scary to me.”

I must interject here: If Jordan has 18 sacks, nobody will be calling him a liability. And besides his obvious pass rush skills, he was effective in coverage on tight ends and running backs at Oregon and wasn’t overwhelmed against the run.

Evans added of the Jordan pick: “[That] messed my mind up. I get the potential, but potential will get you fired in a heartbeat. With the struggles Jeff Ireland has had making wise decisions through the draft across the board, this is a reach. He’s still 6-6, he’s still 240. “As soon as you see him in the game, even 3rd and 3, we’re thinking we still have a very good chance to run the ball. The Patriots’ run numbers on third down last year were the highest in the league. They didn’t get better with the Dion Jordan pick and they aren’t closer to beating the Patriots with that pick.

“Dion Jordan is not the type of player that frustrates Tom Brady. Cam Wake is not the type of player that frustrates [Brady]. It’s middle pressure. It’s what Baltimore is able to do to him.” (Miami has some of that inside pressure with Randy Starks and Jared Odrick when he moves inside.)

### On the moves at receiver, Evans said: “Was there anyone that was going to pay Brian Hartline that (five years, $31 million)? Was there anyone going to pay Mike Wallace that (five years, $60 million)? The Steelers have insider trader information on people.

“Yes, we know Wallace’s ceiling is high, but the floor is equally low. This is a guy that’s going to throw your quarterback an interception [and] that’s going be lazy in his routes. You talk to the Steelers, this is a guy you can’t count on in crunch time. For a young quarterback, you need a guy you can count on in crunch time. The numbers don’t add up.”

Evans must have missed that the Steelers offered Wallace a $50 million deal before last season, albeit with far less guaranteed money than Miami offered. But a big contract nevertheless.

### We’ll see if Evans is right in criticizing the decision to replace Karlos Dansby with Dannell Ellerbe at linebacker.

“[You want] middle pressure? It’s not Ellerbe,” Evans said. “Dansby is one of the more gifted athletes. We know very little about Ellerbe. We know a guy that had a lot of super natural talent around him. You had a decade of knows with Dansby. You have nine starts with Ellerbe.”

During the interview, Dolphins employee and former linebacker Twan Russell told Evans: “I think you’re very mistaken” about his criticism. Evans conceded he “might be wrong” about Wallace. When Evans left the air, Russell said he didn’t appreciate Evans’ analysis.

But the Dolphins have not issued any edict saying Evans cannot be invited back on WINZ.

Comments

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Chris

Still the best work almost anywhere on the Herald. Thanks Barry.

Flan

If heath evenas is right, this team will be 6-10 and there will be a new coach and GM. That's what they deserve.

Lt. Lois Einhorn

The contract that the Steelers offered had $8M guaranteed compared to the $30M the Dolphins gave him. Seems to mesh with what Evans said about the Steelers concerns.

Also, Ellerbe was a third stringer with Baltimore and Miami paid twice what the Ravens were going to offer, no one else would get close to that.

Same story with Hartline, massive free agent overpayment for a player who isn't a difference maker.

IMO the bottom line is that the Dolphins will be better in 2013 for the desperate, reactive moves Jeff Ireland made but that's only compared to the teams that Ireland has been putting on the field in the past.

We'll all see what we've actually got when Miami starts playing teams run by real GMs.

Marco

Barry,

Do you think Wade is the same player he was a few years ago?

I bet the answer is you don't think he is as good as he was and in that case then you agree with Barkley.

Marco

Coral Gables'81

The guaranteed money offered by the Steelers could not be excessively high because Pittsburg was in salary cap hell. I am not an Ireland fan or hater, however it appears as though whatever he does just is not right with so many people. I hope Miami performs well going forward so that these guys will all shut up.

joe mama

can we clone Barry Jackson and have him write all the articles for the Miami sports media?

Miami Speaks

Barkley Speaks The Truth.

These Clowns Think Spo Is A Good Coach. Just Cause He Coaches The Most Talented Team In Basketball.

And The Amount Of Tush Kissing These Sfla Sportwriters Have On The Heat Is Astonishing. Like They All Party In The Same Rainbow Room With Spo.

Barry Jackson

Marco: When Dwyane is limited by a knee injury -- as has been the case the past month -- nobody would suggest he's the same player as he has been in the past. But at this point, you have to attribute that more to the injury than age (31).

And the level at which he played throughout the 27-game winning streak -- just a couple months ago -- was exceptional. It would be interesting to see if he would have sustained that level - or close to it - in postseason if he didn't have the knee issue.

Octavio de Armas

These analysts all they talk is criticism. That's what sells. The Dolphins are vastly improve from last year. Once the season begins we shall see.

jmike

Gee Lt Lois, Ellerbe's 92 tackles and 4.5 sacks in 13 games, isn't bad for a 3rd stringer is it. I take those numbers from him this year any time. If he makes 2nd string here that's an advancement and more time on the field and better stats. As for Hartine 74 receptions for 1083 yards isn't bad either. He got what the market would bare. Ireland might be a lot of negative things, but he knows the market on players, and you should be more informed.

Lt. Lois Einhorn

jmike - he's a nice player, problem is the Dolphins are paying him like a superstar. Same with Wallace, he's good but only Fitz and CJ are paid more than him and he won't have nearly the impact that a true prototype #1 wr would.

Dolphins had cap room because they can't draft players worthy of a second contract, and we're supposed to have faith in Ireland because he went all Dan Snyder overpaying to fill the holes he himself made?

The Dolphins will be a better team but they're not built to last, it's a countdown until the penalties for cutting these free agents is low enough to dump them - they can't live up to those contracts.

Reality Bites

Disagree with Evans in that the moves the Fins have made both in FA and the draft look very good on paper. No one knows how they will translate on the field but they do look good. to the point where there is finally some positive buzz about the upcoming season.

The TNT broadcasters like most of the national media are biased against the Heat seems like they almost root for whomever the Heat is playing. Having said that Barkley has a point in that Wade is not the same player he used to be prior to the Big 3 era. Now he doesn't have to be that anymore and for some stretches of the game he is very explosive still. How Barkley can pick the Pacers to win is beyond logic.
Are Allen, Battier, Chalmers and Nole continue to combine for 4 or 6 points per game the whole series?
Heat win in 5.
Go Heat!

green

With Notre Dame-Michigan getting a prime time window (on ABC or ESPN) on Sept.7, UF at UM was set for noon that day on ESPN.
-- Barry Jackson ‏@flasportsbuzz

memo to espn:

ya know what you can do with your noon start ...

STICK IT WHERE THE SUN DON'T SHINE

green

http://www.examiner.com/article/what-s-a-bald-faced-liar

Essentially, we looked at all the options and this was the best available window for the game. We average probably around three million viewers for that time slot. So it wasn’t like, ‘Let’s put the worst game on at noon.’ The noon window does really well with fans.

We view this as a great matchup. Scheduling games is like putting together different puzzles with different time zones and commitments, and this was the best window.
-- ESPN spokesman Mike Humes

BALD-FACED F_CKING LIAR

green

we requested and lobbied ESPN for an evening slot for the game vs #BeatUF. Unfortunately, they were unable to accomodate.
-- Blake James ‏@CanesAllAccess

espn continues to marginalize us ...
and this is your best response ...
we play late afternoon or early evening ...
or don't televise our games ...
that's how U do it ...

SIMPLY RED

green

UM's opener at 8 p.m. Aug. 30 (a Friday) vs. visiting FAU was picked up by ESPNU, with ESPN instead opting for Texas Tech-SMU on main network.
-- Barry Jackson ‏@flasportsbuzz

exhiled to siberia ...

DROP DEAD

rboud

Ireland will will thrive or wilt away based on how Dion Jordan performs. I hope I'm wrong, but I think the pick was too much of a gamble, considering it was the 3rd overall pick in the draft. Only every down players should go that high. Ireland better hope this pick works out or he'll be toast in the near future.

Maria

Barry, you are the best, thank you for your constant flow of great information and hard work.

Reality Bites

Where is not a troll and the rest of the UM whiners, here we are talking about the Heat and little green pea starts ranting about the noon kickoff for the upcoming UF/UM game. Dude stick to the story, follow the script, this is Heat BB talk. Now since you brought it up you should get used to it. UM is a noon kickoff until they start winning. Get used to it you are a has been second rate team relegated to noon kickoffs. It's who you are.
Go Heat!

Reality Bites

I must modify my previous post, you are a noon kickoff team until you start beating the few good teams you play.
When you beat the likes of Wake, Duke, UVA and FAU you will still be noon kickoff if you are lucky to be even televised.
My apologies to UVA, I know you have beat the sorry canes most of the time. You are still sorry though.

UCheat

UM baseball not the same since the PED supplier was exposed and went out of business. Coincedence???

Danny Thomas

Heath Evans went on to play for the Patriots and loves them. He works for the NFL network which is basically run by Bob Kraft who is the head of NFL media operations which makes all NFL media in the tank for the Patriots. Patriots are concerned about Dolphins moves so this is the beginning of the media campaign against the Dolphins because Kraft controls NFL media. They will rip the Dolphins even if they become an excellent team, because it will destroy the Patriots run. If the Dolphins did nothing they would rip them for doing nothing, now they rip them for all the moves. The bottom line is the national football media are the tools of Bob Kraft and the Patriots, and this is the message that Kraft want out. They are getting his PR message out. Evans loved his time as a Patriot which means the Dolphins may have done something right if they are being attacked four months before the season even begins. The Patriots and the NFL are one big corrupt monster.

Fireland Ed

Reality Bites, thank you Troll for your opinion on UM, but no one cares. This is a Miami newspaper, in the City Of Miami where Canes rule. If this gives you a sad :( then move on. We will talk about the Canes whenever we want while we ignore your ridiculous anti-Cane rants. We are the I_I

Get a life

Obviously it doesn't, trolling UM fans into talking to him on the internet is the only thing that loser has in his life that gives him any joy.

TK SWAN

THANKS DANNY T YOU'RE RIGHT AND THE NFL NETWORK CLEARLY ACTS AS IF IT'S A CRIME TO CRITICIZE BELLICHEAT AND BRADY. NOW ALL OF A SUDDEN DANNY AMELDOLA IS A GREAT WR WHILE MIKE WALLACE IS A FRAUD? WHICH ONE HAS PLAYED IN A SUPER BOWL? WHICH ONE PRODUCED MORE IN THEIR CAREERS SO FAR? THANK YOU! HAD WALLACE SIGNED WITH NE THE PATRIOTS WOULD BE AUTOMATIC SUPER BOWL WINNERS THREATENING THE 72 DOLPHINS! EVERY DRAFT PICK, EVERY FA SIGNING NE DOES IS THE PERFECT PICK AND MAKES THEM SUPER BOWL FAVORITES. WELL HERE IS A FACT! THE PATRIOTS ARE AGING AND THE LOSS OF WES WELKER WILL HURT BADLY. THE LAST 3-5 YEARS MAYBE MORE THEY HAVE HAD A TERRIBLE DEFENSE THAT'S BEEN HIDDEN BECAUSE BRADY OUT SCORED EVERYONE. NOW THEY HAVE NO SECONDARY AND THE BEST SAFETY HAS LEFT IN FA. HEATH EVANS AND THE NFL A..KISSERS BETTER HOPE MIAMI DOES NOT LIVE UP TO THERE POTENTIAL BECAUSE THEY WILL LOOK VERY STUPID. IF DION JORDAN CAN BECOME THE PASS RUSHING THREAT HE IS NOT JUST GOING TO HELP WAKE BUT ALSO OLDRCK AND STARKS NOT TO MENTION THE SECONDARY. YES THE FINS ARE CLOSING AND THE PATS ARE FADING, IT HAPPENS TO EVERY TEAM DO NOT SLEEP ON BUFFALO THEY ARE UP AND COMING ALSO. AS FAR AS CHARLES BARKLEY GOES FH! HE IS THE ULTIMATE HEAT HATER AND WILL SWITCH HIS PICKS TO MAKE HIMSELF LOOK GOOD. HE HATES ALL PLAYERS WHO HAVE WHAT HE DON'T AND THAT IS A RING! THE PLAYER HE CAN THANK FOR THAT IS MJ.
HE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO STAND IT IF THE HEAT WINS AGAIN. GGO HEAT! GO FINS!

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