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Miami Heat notebook: How do you guard Kevin Durant? Shane Battier suggests prayer

Heat forward Shane Battier, one of the NBA's best defenders for the last several years, was asked about his approach to guarding a player like Kevin Durant.
by Jason Kersey Published: June 11, 2012

BATTIER MAKES PSA FOR BOOKS

Battier was asked about LeBron James' new pregame ritual: reading books.

“The demise of publishing and books is greatly exaggerated and it's good to know that LeBron is at the forefront of that charge,” Battier said. “It's good for everyone to pick up a book in this age of Twitter and Facebook. ... At the end of the day, there's no better entertainment.”

Battier then looked into a television camera.

“That's my PSA for today: Kids, LeBron is reading books, you should read books as well,” he said.

SPOELSTRA SAYS HEAT PUT LAST SEASON BEHIND IT

Spoelstra was asked what his team learned from last year's NBA Finals, when it lost to the Dallas Mavericks.

“We went through a lot of lessons last year, and experience can be probably the most powerful teacher,” Spoelstra said. “But we've put that behind us.”

He stressed the lessons the Heat has learned as this season has progressed.

“We continued to reinvent ourselves,” he said. “This is a different journey. We've built up some character and toughness. We've been tested really in all three rounds.”

LEBRON REFLECTS ON LAST YEAR

This year's NBA Finals are the third of James' career, and he has yet to win one. He was asked Monday to reflect on last season.

“I didn't play well,” he said. “I think I've said that 100 times this year.

“I didn't make enough game-changing plays that I know I'm capable of making, and I felt like I let my teammates down.

“I'm happy, and I'm humbled that I can actually be back in this position less than 12 months later to do a better job of making more plays, more game-changing plays out on the floor on a bigger stage. So we'll see what happens.”

HASLEM ON DURANT VS. JAMES

Heat forward Udonis Haslem said the matchup between Durant and James is “huge,” but that other players can't focus too much on it.

“These are right now the top two guys in the game, so it's going to be a huge matchup,” Haslem said. “The other guys can't find themselves watching. We've got to get involved; we've got to help those guys out.

“But I'm sure there are going to be points in the game where all eyes are going to be on those two guys, and I'm sure it's going to be a heck of a matchup.”

by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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