We’ve already covered the fact that the Heat and the Pacer don’t like each other, based on playoff series the past two seasons along with a whole host of intense regular season battles.
Wade had continual knee issues during Miami’s run to the title last season, so much so that the team was extra cautious with him this year, to the point where he appeared in just 54 games during the regular season, while being held out to rest for the majority of the others.
Stephenson mentioned Wade’s history of injury when speaking to reporters on Saturday.
Looking ahead to his matchup with Wade, beginning in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday (3:30 p.m., ABC), Stephenson revealed that making Wade’s problematic right knee “flare up” is part of his strategy.
“D. Wade — I think his knee is messed up, so I’ve got to be extra aggressive and make him run and have him running around and make his knee flare up or something,” he said after the Pacers practiced this afternoon. “I’ll do anything as much as possible.”
You’d like to hope Stephenson was joking here, maybe by complementing his opponent and implying that unless Wade were slowed by injury once again, he’d be tough to stop.
But given the rivalry that exists between these two teams, and with a trip to the Finals at stake, it’s unclear if that was the case.