Heat respond to Pierce's tweet jab

MIAMI -- The war of words between the Heat and the Celtics didn't end after Boston's 112-107 victory Thursday night in Miami.

Heat forward Udonis Haslem questioned Paul Pierce's toughness after Friday's practice when he was told that Pierce apparently used his Twitter account to mock LeBron James and the Heat. Moments after the Celtics defeated the Heat for the second time this season, Pierce apparently rubbed in the victory in 140 characters or less.

“It’s been a pleasure to bring my talents to south beach,” was the message that appeared on Pierce's twitter feed. “(N)ow on to Memphis.” The message was a loose reference to James’ July 8 announcement in free agency that he would be “taking my talents to South Beach” to sign with Miami.

Asked if he had a response to Pierce's tweet, Haslem responded with a question of his own.

“Paul who?” Haslem shot back. “Man, ain't nobody paying them dudes no attention, man. You know what studio gangster is? Look up that, look up the definition of studio gangster. I'm here to play basketball. First of all, I don't tweet. So I wouldn't know what he tweeted if you guys didn't tell me.”

Having lost two consecutive games, and three of their last four, the Heat are trying to recover from their first stretch of adversity early in the season. Players said Friday that they don't expect other teams in the league or fans who root against the Heat to have any sympathy when they struggle.

The process of re-signing Dwyane Wade and luring James and Chris Bosh to Miami made the Heat arguably the most polarizing team in the league. Haslem and Wade, Miami's co-captains, acknowledged Friday that opponents seem to relish the opportunity to beat the Heat more than other teams this season.

“I'm not surprised at all,” Wade said. “That's a part of it. We understand that. We understand that because of what happened with the players we have on this team. Of course people are smiling, and they're feeling good about our 5-4 start, as they should be. That's the case (with) Heat haters … and that's fine. We just have to stick together as a team.”

The Heat, who are 1-4 this season against teams with winning records, continue their six-game home stand against the Toronto Raptors on Saturday.