As Chris Bosh pointed out following the Miami Heat’s game one victory over the Dallas Mavericks Tuesday, there’s a good chance that, whether intentional or not, someone is going to get a piece of Dirk Nowitzki’s torn left middle finger tendon as the series progresses.
But according to Udonis Haslem, who was charged with guarding Nowitzki for a good deal of the series opener, he won’t be looking to target the injury, even though it sits on the hand of the Mavs’ best player.
"I’m not that type of player that’s going to slap him on the hand every chance I get or anything like that," Haslem said, per ESPN Dallas. "I don’t believe in that. I believe in playing straight-up, man-to-man and obviously relying on my teammates to give me some help. It doesn’t give me any advantage, it doesn’t give us any advantage."
Nowitzki injured the finger late in game one when he made contact with the aforementioned Bosh. Since then, many have wondered, including our friends over at NBC Miami, whether the Heat wouldn’t be well-served by zeroing in on the injury. We’ll find out tonight, but until then, at least Haslem seems content to defend the All-Star as though nothing had ever happened.
"I’ve never been that type of guy, it’s just not my style," Haslem said. "I don’t want to have advantages or take advantage of something like that. I think our defense is good enough as a unit."