Shane Battier—aka Mr. Do Everything That No One Actually Sees—will have to find a way to contribute from the bench for a while as he deals with a nagging knee injury.
UPDATE: Thursday, Nov. 29 at 6:10 p.m. ET by Tim Keeney
#HEATgame: Shane Battier will not play tonight. He is day-to-day.— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) November 29, 2012
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UPDATE: Thursday, November 29 at 11:12 a.m. ET
At this point, Heat fans should expect Shane Battier (knee) to sit out tonight's contest with the Spurs. Associated Press' Tim Reynolds reports that Battier missed shootaround this morning.
No surprise, Shane Battier did not participate in shootaround.— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) November 29, 2012
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ESPN's Michael Wallace originally reported the extent of Battier's injury:
Battier sustained the injury when he landed awkwardly after a teammate fell into him in the third quarter of Saturday's win over Cleveland. He immediately hopped off the court, headed directly to the Heat's locker room and did not return to the game.
The Heat are officially listing Battier as day to day, but coach Erik Spoelstra suggested after Monday's practice that the designation was extremely optimistic.
I know what you're thinking: Um, LeBron? Wade? The Bosh (yes, he deserves a "The." Just because.)? Miami, which currently sits at 10-3 in first place in the Southeast, has the best trio in the NBA. There's no way it will miss Shane Battier.
That may be true if Battier is only forced to sit out a couple of games, but it's hard to quantify just how much he means to the Heat.
Not only is the 11-year veteran a deadly three-point shooter (2.1 made per game at 45.8 percent)—especially in this offense—but he guards multiple positions with an on-ball ferocity that few others bring. He's also a smart player who rarely makes mistakes. And most annoyingly, he takes charges and does all the little things that no pays attention to.
Battier is the perfect role player.
Who should the Heat start in Battier's place?
Luckily enough for head coach Erik Spoelstra and company, this is probably the ideal time for the wily forward to go down with an injury.
The Heat, who last played on Saturday, don't play again until Thursday against San Antonio. After that, they play Saturday against Brooklyn and then next Tuesday against Washington. This is one of the slower parts of Miami's schedule.
Throw in the fact that it's still early in the season, and the Heat will undoubtedly be able to ride out this minor injury.
In Battier's stead, Spoelstra has options. He could move LeBron to the 3 spot and insert Udonis Haslem at the power forward position, or he could simply toss someone like Mike Miller into Battier's spot.
We'll be sure to keep you updated as more becomes known.