Stephenson: Have to be aggressive

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Saturday, May 17, 2014

If Lance Stephenson's comments after practice Saturday were any indication, the Indiana Pacers' game plan for containing the Heat look something like this: Exploit Miami's weaknesses. 

According to Stephenson, one way to do that is to make Dwyane Wade's oft-ailing knee "flare up."

"I think his knee is messed up, so I've got to be extra aggressive," Stephenson told reporters, according to the Palm Beach Post.

He said he plans to "make (Wade) run" and "make his knee flare up or something."

"I'll do anything as much as possible," Stephenson said. 

Wade has battled knee problems throughout his career, including during last season's Finals. He missed 28 games this season with various injuries, including a hamstring strain in March.

Wade and Stephenson have engaged in some lively exchanges in recent months. Both players drew technical fouls after a brief scuffle during a March 26 game, and Stephenson subsequently was ejected after receiving another technical for taunting Wade later in the game. 

Of that interaction, Wade said Friday, "You gotta ask him ... I just smiled."

Stephenson said the tension with Wade and the Heat isn't personal. 

"It's just basketball," Stephenson said. "If I see D. Wade walking in the street, I won't try to get him. It's just basketball and just playing hard against each other. We both have a goal ... I don't got no problems with them, but on the court there's no friends."

The Pacers host the Heat in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals on Sunday (3:30 ET, ABC)