Wade, Butler hurt during Heat practice

Updated: May 15, 2004, 1:50 AM ET
Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS -- Several members of the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers will be playing with pain in Game 5 on Saturday, and some of the Heat have their coach to thank for it.

Dwyane Wade and Caron Butler were both banged up after a particularly physical practice on Friday in Miami.

Wade was elbowed in the face by Wang Zhi-Zhi and Butler left with a sore hip after colliding with Brian Grant, who is nursing a dislocated finger on his right hand and a sore back.

Heat officials said both players will be ready for Saturday's game in Indianapolis, but at least one Miami player was left wondering why coach Stan Van Gundy would hold such a rough practice on the eve of their biggest game of the year.

"I'm not a big fan of coming in here and banging around the day before a big playoff game," point guard Rafer Alston said. "I don't understand it. ... We took a chance today at losing two to three guys. We've really got to watch it, man. They can call me soft or whatever. But the object is to make it to the next game."

Van Gundy said injuries would not be an excuse and offered no explanation for the demanding practice.

"If they don't know what we're trying to do at this point, then we haven't done our job," Van Gundy said.

For the Pacers, Fred Jones has a strained left shoulder, Jamaal Tinsley has a sprained left ankle and Al Harrington played Game 4 with a glove on his shooting hand to protect jammed fingers.

All three said they will play Saturday, with Jones appearing to be in the worst shape.

"It's definitely not 100 percent right now," Jones said. "Just walking, I feel it."

Van Gundy also spent part of Friday's media session questioning Pacers coach Rick Carlisle's criticism of the officiating.

"It's frustrating when you are getting hit and not going to the foul line," Carlisle had said. "We are not an excuse team, but when things are not right, they are not right."

Van Gundy said Carlisle's remarks were "part of the gamesmanship of the playoffs."

"Now, a team that everybody said wasn't big enough or physical enough to play with the Pacers, now I read where we're beating them up," he said. "I find that, like, laughable. They've shot 18 more free throws than us in the series. He said we're beating up on Jermaine O'Neal, Jermaine shot 43 free throws in four games. I don't know how many times Rick thinks he should be there."


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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