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Your unexpected hero: Shane Battier drains six three-pointers in Heat win

Jun 21, 2013, 2:28 AM EDT

“Reports of my demise were premature. That’s my opening statement.”

Those were the first words Shane Battier spoke when he went to the podium in the interview room after playing a key role in the Heat’s 95-88 Game 7 win over the Spurs.

The last Game 7 the Heat were in — a couple weeks back against the Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals — Battier never got off the bench. He was 2-of-16 from three in that series and as the Heat went big to match the Pacers he got squeezed out of the rotation.

For the first five games of the NBA Finals he was little better — 3-for-15 and he again was barely getting in games. But through it all he kept talking about sticking to his routine, getting up his shots in practice, being ready.

“Winston Churchill said ‘When going through Hell keep going.’ So I don’t need to reinvent anything, I just need to do what I do and when the shot is there, take it,” Battier said before Game 5.

He started to find that rhythm in Game 6 (3-of-4 from three).

Then he exploded in Game 7 with an NBA Finals Game 7 record 6 three pointers (on 8 shots), which led to 18 points. All series long the Spurs tried to clog the paint and take away the drives of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, but the trade off was room for shooters at the arc.

Battier finally made them pay at the most opportune possible moment for the Heat.

“Honestly, I felt good the last couple of games,” Battier said. “And I made a couple of threes last game, and so I felt really confident tonight. I knew that our starters were going to be pretty tired after Game 6. It was an emotionally and physically draining game. I only played 12 minutes. So I felt great.”

Battier is a guy with the perspective of a veteran, so he didn’t see Game 7 as pressure filled.

“I’ve always thought that pressure is trying to feed your family, trying to make the mortgage. We play a game,” Battier said. “We play basketball.”

Thursday night he played it very well, and for that reason he is a back-to-back NBA Champion.

  1. dolphindubs - Jun 21, 2013 at 2:34 AM

    Not unexpected hero….overdue hero. It was just a matter of time before those shots started falling

  2. anhdazman - Jun 21, 2013 at 5:42 AM

    So maybe Battier should get the “Robert Horry” award.

  3. wswalcottmedshow - Jun 21, 2013 at 5:47 AM

    You have to love Battier’s post-game comments quoting Winston Churchill and putting the game in perspective. He is one of the most intelligent basketball players on the planet and a guy ho makes basketball fun. You almost never catch him on camera without that infectious smile and easy manner.

    • fanofevilempire - Jun 21, 2013 at 7:29 AM

      he’s a Dukie baby!
      classy guy, Allen hits the shot to tie game 6 and Battier plays BIG in game7even.
      and they say Shane never returned.

    • 1historian - Jun 21, 2013 at 8:06 AM

      Shows you the benefit of a degree from Duke.

  4. heavychevy15 - Jun 21, 2013 at 7:27 AM

    Got to feel great for Battier. The struggle through most of the playoffs capped off by a great performance.

  5. hehateme2 - Jun 21, 2013 at 7:54 AM

    Happy for Shane. He’s a class act. It was almost like Mike Miller 2.0 again.

  6. coryfor3 - Jun 21, 2013 at 8:10 AM

    And the ultimate front runner gets his trophy. He just joins whatever team is going to win and grabs on for the ride. Duke and the Heat. Perfect.

    • asuthyo - Jun 21, 2013 at 8:26 AM

      You do realize that Battier was a good enough high school player to earn a scholarship from Duke right? Not sure how he’s a front runner for earning a scholarship offer.

      And, he’s been an integral part of two Heat championships. So he didn’t just join the Heat to ride the bench and get a ring. Once again he earned something. Give the guy credit where it’s due, he came up huge in the biggest game of the year.

    • pl4tinum514 - Jun 21, 2013 at 10:29 AM

      Battier makes teams better. Heat doesn’t win the championship last year without him, and this year you could possibly make that argument as well based on this game alone, or on the fact that they won 66 games and had home court in the finals.

      Dude is a winner. When he joined the Grizzlies they immediately went from a doormat to making the playoffs. When he joined the Rockets they became contenders. Dude is and always has been awesome.

  7. coryfor3 - Jun 21, 2013 at 8:12 AM

    How does this show the benefit of a Duke degree!? Because he quoted Churchill? Ooh… Can’t do that without a duke education!

  8. heavychevy15 - Jun 21, 2013 at 8:31 AM

    @coryfor3 quit trolling. Battier’s Defense was a huge part of this team repeating. Oh ya his 6 three’s last night didn’t hurt either.

  9. addictedzone - Jun 21, 2013 at 8:41 AM

    There is no better interview than Battier. He comes with quick, smart, and witty answers always. Kurt left out my favorite from last night. When asked about turning it on in Games 6 and 7, the two most important games of the Heat season, he answered in his typical self-deprecating style: “It’s better to be timely than good.”

  10. loungefly74 - Jun 21, 2013 at 9:08 AM

    always been a Battier fan. good for him.

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