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Shane Battier

  1. 2012 NBA Finals Game 3: 20 observations as the series shifts to South Beach

    Jun 16, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

    Miami Heat v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Two

    Here are twenty observations about the 2012 NBA Finals through two games as the series shifts to Miami for a three-game set. 1. First, and really, this can’t be stressed enough, the 2-3-2 format is horrible. I get why. I do. You don’t want the Finals dragging in for an entire month. But here’s the…

  2. Perkins sitting key to solving Thunder’s Shane Battier problem

    Jun 15, 2012, 4:03 PM EDT

    Miami Heat v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One

    You can’t take away everything. One man cannot stop LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, you need a team defensive effort, you need bigs rotating into the paint as shot blockers. But that comes with tradeoffs. Serge Ibaka is one of the game’s best shot blockers and he has hung near the paint to protect the…

  3. NBA Finals Heat-Thunder Game 2: Welcome back, Thunder defense

    Jun 15, 2012, 12:14 PM EDT

    Miami Heat's James goes to the basket against Oklahoma City Thunder's Durant during Game 2 of the NBA basketball finals in Oklahoma City

    I had serious questions about the Thunder defense heading into Game 1. After all, this was a top ten, but not top five defense throughout the year, and it still gave up a ton of points to San Antonio (which granted has the best offense in the league). I had major concerns about how they…

  4. NBA Finals: Heat’s Big 3 get back to basics, even up the series

    Jun 15, 2012, 2:35 AM EDT

    Miami Heat v Oklahoma City Thunder – Game Two

    For the sake of argument, forget about the Durant no-call for a second. Simply put, the Heat won Game 2 of the NBA Finals because all 3 of their best players went back to doing what they do best: playing off of each other, playing with energy, and, most importantly, playing near the rim. Before…

  5. NBA finals Game 2: Miami holds off… or holds on to beat Thunder

    Jun 15, 2012, 12:48 AM EDT

    Miami Heat's James goes to the basket against Oklahoma City Thunder's Durant during Game 2 of the NBA basketball finals in Oklahoma City

    You knew it was coming. For the first three quarters the Miami Heat played the game they needed to play to get a win in this series — LeBron James was driving the lane, Dwyane Wade looked like his old aggressive self, Chris Bosh was providing the size inside they need, the Heat defense (particularly…

  6. NBA finals Game 2: Miami picks up defense, leads 55-43 at half

    Jun 14, 2012, 10:33 PM EDT

    Miami Heat v Oklahoma City Thunder – Game Two

    The Miami Heat have gotten what they need. Dwyane Wade came out looking like his old self, aggressive and attacking. Chris Bosh had 10 points and 10 rebounds in the first half. Miami had great ball movement. The Heat defense, particularly transition defense, that was missing in Game 1 was back in Game 2 as…

  7. Chris Bosh to start for Heat, Haslem to come off bench

    Jun 14, 2012, 8:31 PM EDT

    Miami Heat's Bosh speaks with media in Oklahoma City

    Erik Spoelstra has stopped playing games and is now going the only direction he really can — Chris Bosh will be back in the starting lineup for the Miami Heat, he announced before Game 2 in Oklahoma City Thursday night. But unlike during much of the season when both Bosh and Udonis Haslem would start,…

  8. NBA finals Game 2, Heat-Thunder: We expect a better Miami, is that enough?

    Jun 14, 2012, 3:56 PM EDT

    Miami Heat v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One

    Every time they have really been challenged these playoffs, the Miami Heat have been able to summon enough focus and resolve to get the wins they need. Down 2-1 to the Pacers, they rallied. Down 3-2 to the Celtics, they rallied. Down 1-0 to the Oklahoma city Thunder in the NBA finals, you can bet…

  9. LeBron hopes to see less deferring, more attacking from Wade

    Jun 14, 2012, 9:52 AM EDT

    LeBron James, Dwyane Wade

    LeBron James was good in Game 1, but for the Heat right now that is not good enough. He has to be exceptional. At both ends of the floor. And he could use some help. Dwyane Wade was 7-of-19 shooting on offense and had Russell Westbrook blowing by him like he was an orange traffic…

  10. Six things Miami needs to do to win Game 2

    Jun 13, 2012, 5:31 PM EDT

    Miami Heat's James pauses during a break in play against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the fourth quarter of Game 1 of the NBA basketball finals in Oklahoma City

    This series is not over. From the Memorial Day Massacre to the Heat winning Game 1 last season, there is a long history of Game 1 of the NBA finals not mattering. But Game 1 also gave hints of what could be the Heat’s undoing. They can no longer just expect to be the most…

  11. Heat-Thunder Game 1: Miami didn’t choke; worse they were themselves

    Jun 13, 2012, 3:19 AM EDT

    Miami Heat v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One

    The easy mantra out of Game 1 of the NBA finals is that the Heat choked. LeBron choked in the fourth quarter. Again. But that’s not what happened. The reality is scarier for Heat fans. Miami was exactly who they are. Who they have been all season, all playoffs. And unless they can find a…

  12. Heat-Thunder Game 1: Who has been here before? Poised OKC pulls away for win.

    Jun 13, 2012, 12:31 AM EDT

    Miami Heat v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One

    Miami is the team in its second consecutive trip to the NBA finals, the team that talked about its new attitude, how it learned from last season, about LeBron James‘ new glare, and was more comfortable on the stage. But like they did throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs — and like they did last finals…

  13. Kevin Durant turned on the heat to close out Miami

    Jun 13, 2012, 12:23 AM EDT

    Miami Heat v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One

    Kevin Durant had a pretty quiet first half and, perhaps not surprisingly, his Oklahoma City Thunder trailed by seven points heading into halftime. That all changed in the second half, however, as Durant dominated down the stretch to close out the Heat on his way to 36 efficient points in his first ever NBA Finals…

  14. NBA Finals Game 1: Heat 54, Thunder 47 at halftime

    Jun 12, 2012, 10:23 PM EDT

    Miami Heat's James is guarded by Oklahoma City Thunder's Durant during the first quarter in Game 1 of the NBA basketball finals in Oklahoma City

    It felt a little like two fighters feeling each other out in the first round of a 12-round match. After one half Miami is up 54-47 and you can make a case that both teams should feel lucky. Miami outplayed the Thunder, especially on offense where they were able to get into the lane and…

  15. Wade says LeBron having to cover Durant good for Miami

    Jun 12, 2012, 12:26 PM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat

    It’s one of the best parts of these NBA finals — Kevin Durant and LeBron James are going to be matched up on each other. The two best players in the game today going head-to-head. It’s not going to happen all the time (expect cross matching, the Heat will want LeBron on Durant at key…

  16. 2012 NBA Finals: 50 Observations

    Jun 12, 2012, 11:30 AM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat

    The most entertaining Finals of probably the last fifteen years begins Tuesday night in Oklahoma City. With that here are 50 thoughts, observations, and predictions as the Oklahoma City Thunder face the Miami Heat in the 2012 NBA Finals. 1. This is going to be fun. 2. I’m not talking like “oh, hey, we’re going…

  17. Celtics-Heat Game 7 Preview: Five things to watch

    Jun 9, 2012, 4:00 PM EDT

    Miami Heat's James and Wade react after a play against the Boston Celtics during the first half in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Finals NBA basketball playoffs in Boston

    With so much on the line in Game 7, what are the things that will decide this game? What does it come down to? Here are five things to watch as the Boston Celtics meet the Miami Heat in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals Saturday night. 1. For the love of God, stop…

  18. Celtics-Heat Game 7: The Truth about Boston’s Revenge Tour

    Jun 9, 2012, 9:52 AM EDT

    Miami Heat v Boston Celtics - Game Three

    Game 7 Saturday night between the Celtics and Heat would honestly be better had the Celtics not won the title. You’d have so many legacies on the line. As it stands, this is the Celtics’ push for a second title, which just isn’t as much of a big deal. It’s not even as important as a…

  19. Celtics unable to capitalize on momentum, Miami Heat force Game 7

    Jun 8, 2012, 12:03 AM EDT

    NBA: Playoffs-Miami Heat at Boston Celtics

    The Boston Celtics had an excellent opportunity to close out the Eastern Conference finals Thursday night, setting up a meeting with Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA finals. LeBron James would not allow that to happen, however, and the Heat cruised to an easy 98-79 victory en route to forcing a Game 7…

  20. Chris Bosh again to come off bench for Heat in Game 6

    Jun 7, 2012, 8:02 PM EDT

    Miami Heat v Boston Celtics - Game Six

    Everybody talked about how Chris Bosh was not on the court for the Heat in the fourth quarter of Game 5. I bet he is in Game 6. But he will not be there at the start. Bosh will come off the bench again for the Heat in Game 6, coach Erik Spoelstra said and…

  21. At least one kid thought Miami gave “good effort, good job”

    Jun 6, 2012, 8:20 AM EDT

    Boston Celtics v Miami Heat - Game Five

    It’s good to know that while the rest of us will spend the day killing the Heat for their effort and the job they put forth Tuesday night there is one young fan that believes they did their best. He was the lone voice of support as LeBron James, Shane Battier and DNP-CD Ronny Turiaf…

  22. Miami’s next step: Figure out how to be a team

    Jun 6, 2012, 6:06 AM EDT

    Boston Celtics v Miami Heat - Game Five

    With the game and maybe the season on the line, the Miami Heat were what they have been since October of 2010 — individuals. Dwyane Wade was the guy with the ball, standing out top and attacking off the dribble trying to find a seam to slice through. LeBron James was in the corner, motionless,…

  23. Rivers says if Chris Bosh is back Miami’s offense improves

    Jun 4, 2012, 5:52 PM EDT

    Chris Bosh

    Miami may have Chris Bosh back on Tuesday for Game 5. It’s huge in a series where the Heat offense has struggled against a good Boston defense, because the Heat’s pick-and-roll is about to become a lot more dangerous. Right now the Heat have shown limited respect for the damage Shane Battier and Udonis Haslem…

  24. What was with Miami’s final play? A Wade isolation three? Ugh.

    Jun 4, 2012, 12:38 PM EDT

    Dwyane Wade

    Dwyane Wade is shooting 29.2 percent from three in the playoffs. Which is better than he shot during the regular season. It is not what he does well. So the fact Miami’s final play of overtime devolved into a Wade pull-up three to win it was poor. Bad design, not great execution, just not putting…

  25. LeBron, Pierce foul out of sadly whistle-happy game

    Jun 4, 2012, 11:16 AM EDT

    LeBron James

    The biggest problem for the NBA is that the day after every major game we are discussing the officiating. And the officiating — particularly late in Game 4 of Miami and Boston — was a key part of the story Sunday. There were five offensive foul calls in the second half of the fourth quarter…

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