Shane Battier just shoots threes all day
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
It last happened Feb. 14, and who knows when it will happen again: a Shane Battier two-point attempt.
Since taking a seven-foot baseline floater — he missed it — against the Oklahoma City Thunder in mid-February, the Miami Heat forward has taken 36 consecutive three-pointers, and he has made 22.
This season, Battier has taken 260 shots and 230 have been three-pointers, including 110 three-point attempts out of 123 shots since Jan. 1. Nearly 90% — 88.5% to be precise — of Battier’s shots have been three-pointers, the largest percentage of three-pointers he has taken in his career.
“I don’t shoot too many two-pointers anymore,” Battier told USA TODAY Sports.
It’s no secret the Heat, who have won a franchise-record 16 consecutive games, like to use Battier at the three-point line, but it’s even more pronounced this season. For example, 62.7% of Battier’s shots were threes last season.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra wants Battier stationed on the perimeter and not one step inside the three-point line. It creates the spacing coaches love these days. If Battier’s defender sticks to him, that leaves room for LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to operate in the lane. If Battier’s defender helps, that leaves Battier open. Combine that with rapid ball movement and the defense struggles to recover. What makes it work is Battier’s proficiency. He is shooting 43/% on threes this season.
“Spo’ just told me, ‘Don’t worry about running pick-and-rolls. Don’t worry about cutting. Don’t worry about posting. Don’t worry about coming off screens. Just get in open space on the perimeter and shoot threes all day,’ ” Battier said.
“I’ve taken that to heart.”
He’s not the only player in the league with a high ratio of three-point attempts. Per NBA.com/stats, a quick review of some of the league’s more prolific three-pointers revealed