Wade: Battier ‘Does it all for our team’
With (Chris) Bosh still out indefinitely because of a strained abdominal muscle, the Heat have desperately searched for role players to collectively fill the void. (LeBron) James finished with 32 points and 13 rebounds and Wade added 22 points and seven assists, and (Shane) Battier was the third Heat player in double figures with 10 points and 10 rebounds to go along with two assists, two blocks and a steal.
“Shane is everything,” (Dwyane) Wade said. “He does it all for our team. Me and LeBron, we love Shane on this ball club. Not only his defensive effort, he does all the little things. He’s pesky. He gets under other guys’ skin a little bit. He does a great job of blocking out. He was able to capitalize.”
The Heat have won four consecutive playoff games since falling into a 2-1 series hole in the conference semifinals against the Indiana Pacers. The dominant play of James and Wade in that stretch has set the tone. But in each victory, a different role player has provided a much-needed boost.
After spending the last series matched up against the much bulkier David West, Battier remained in the starting lineup against Boston and was assigned to Brandon Bass. The 6-foot-8, 225-pound Battier, is giving up considerable size to Bass in again after yielding two inches and 15 pounds to West.