There doesn’t really seem to be a whole lot of Shane Battier hate out there in the world, but in case the player who has now won two championships as a member of the Miami Heat runs into someone who isn’t a fan, he’ll be able to silently display both of his rings by raising the middle fingers on each of his hands.
The Heat players have been getting sized for their 2013 rings the last few days, and Battier opted to go with the same finger he chose for his first ring, albeit on the other hand.
The fan in me has never cared for Battier as a player, but I’m in an extreme minority, and it isn’t Battier’s fault. He received an overwhelming amount of praise as a “no-stats All-Star” when he played for the Rockets, and I thought it was unwarranted, to say the least.
But if Battier and I ever cross paths to discuss this particular subject, he can just smile and simultaneously show me his two rings, and I’ll have nothing more to say.
Chris Paul broke his finger Saturday.
The initial diagnosis said the injury wasn’t serious.
Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:
Paul obviously wouldn’t push it during the preseason. If the Clippers are allowing him to play, this can’t be bad.
Really, the most challenging aspect to this is grasping the concept that a broke finger can be a minor injury.
Brad Stevens has a big challenge this year – sorting the Celtics’ deep roster of similarly able players.
It seems that process is shaking out at power forward and center.
A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast:
it appears Boston’s first four bigs will be starters David Lee and Tyler Zeller, with Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk off the bench.
That leaves Jonas Jerebko and Jared Sullinger, potentially on the outside looking in as far as the regular rotation is concerned.
Lee is the best passer of the bunch, which could partially explain why he’s starting. Boston’s most likely starting point guard, Marcus Smart, is still growing into the role of the lead ball-handler at the NBA level. Lee and presumptive starting shooting guard Avery Bradley can take some pressure off him.
Olynyk can space the floor for Isaiah Thomas-Johnson pick-and-rolls with the reserves and run pick-and-pops with Thomas himself.
I’m a little surprised Zeller is starting over Johnson, though. The Celtics just signed Johnson to a $12 million salary, and I thought they’d rely on his defense to set a tone early. Like Johnson, Zeller is a quality pick-and-roll finisher who can thrive with Thomas.
This is particularly bad news for Sullinger, who – barring a surprising contract extension – is entering a contract year. It seems those reports of offseason conditioning haven’t yet paid off. Jerebko’s deal also isn’t guaranteed beyond this season, but at least he has already gotten his mid-sized payday. Sullinger is still on his rookie-scale contract.