For the past few seasons of his career, and even moreso since he joined the Miami Heat in 2011, Shane Battier has had a reputation as one of the NBA's best three-point shooters. He has shot 38 percent from beyond the arc for his career and has made 42 percent of his attempts from there this season. In fact, of his 5.3 field-goal attempts per game on the season, 4.6 come from three-point land.
However, Battier was not having a good night in that department during the Miami Heat's game against the Dallas Mavericks on January 2. He was 0-of-3 from long range on the night, but then hit a key three in the fourth quarter that ultimately forced overtime. The former Blue Devil then sank another three-pointer in overtime en route to a 119-109 victory for the Heat.
Fox Sports Florida's Chris Tomasson asked Battier about his clutch performance after the game, and the veteran's answer was, well, interesting, to say the least:
"I channeled my Buddhist teachings from college,'' Battier said about not having hit a shot all night and then making a last second 3-pointer to force overtime and then hitting another 3-pointer in overtime in Miami's 119-109 win over Dallas. "I was completely detached. i was so pissed off from missing shots. Finally, I said, 'I don't care. I'm just going to shoot it.'''
Wait, let me get this straight: Has Battier been meeting with Phil Jackson in secret, and that's what caused him to sink those two clutch three-pointers?
Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that the man was able to break out of his funk for the night. But was it really "Buddhist teachings" that helped him? I mean, whatever happened to using extra practice to get out of a slump?
Either way, if this is what Battier is doing to move past slow starts, why not go whole hog and do more? There's transcendental meditation, shiatsu massage, yoga and much more.
Battier should also be sharing this type of practice with players who need help in the shooting department. Minnesota Timberwolves star forward Kevin Love has been struggling with his shot all season, and Pau Gasol of the Los Angeles Lakers has struggled as well. By just Zenning out and letting everything go, a la Battier, maybe they can finally get back on the right track.
We may not want to admit it, but Battier just might be the new Zen Master of the NBA. Out with Phil and in with Shane.
Yes, Battier's reasoning for why he made those three-pointers may be a bit odd, but whatever works, right? As much as we may knock him for it, perhaps this is a sign that we should embrace his approach. In doing so, perhaps we can learn to like the Miami Heat just a bit more.