I think it's important to remember that during this Heat streak, the team is winning all of its games - and winning them with Battier often on the court.
Many, many block/charge calls ago, Battier was national player of the year at Duke, and he was part of the Houston Rockets' 22-game win streak in the 2007-08 season. These days, he sets up shop just beyond the 3-point line, usually in the corner - I believe he has a desk and a reading lamp over there - and waits for his teammates to reverse the ball to him, then catches-and-shoots a wide-open 22-foot half-inch jumper with his eyes closed.
He does nothing else - the team reportedly fines him if he goes in the paint - reflected by his stats: 0.9 assists, 0.7 blocked shots and 0.5 steals per game. He somehow averages 2.3 rebounds, but most of them are his own misfired 3-pointers that clank off the rim and ricochet back into his lap. Of his 287 field-goal attempts, 252 have been 3-pointers - he shoots 43 percent from beyond the arc and only 34 percent on two-pointers; all the activity near the basket, I assume, bothers him.
Hey, you try winning 22 in a row with this stationary mope on the floor.
Column Footnote: The Denver Nuggets' 11-game winning streak has been largely overlooked; then again, unlike the Heat, they play 5-on-5, and at altitude.
Ask The Slouch
Q. The company that owns PBR might soon be producing Twinkies and Ding Dongs. Does it concern you that so much of your diet will be controlled by one corporate entity? (James McPherson; Spokane, Wash.)
A. No more than the proposed American-US Airways merger means all my flight delays will be controlled by one mega-airline.
Q. Any truth to the rumor that the College of Cardinals threatened to move the Conclave unless a new Colosseum was built? (Kevin Wagner; Pittsburgh)
A. From your lips to God's ears: Coming in 2017, the new Forever 21 Colosseum.
Q. Following Selection Sunday, would it make sense to declare "Bracket Monday" a holiday so we can fill them out without being distracted by our jobs? (Ray Stinger Jr.; Pittsburgh)
A. Pay the man, Shirley.
Q. Do you consider your first two marriages "play-in games"? (Dan Campbell; Rockville, Md.)
A. I've certainly felt like a 16 seed at each wedding.
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