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Battier, Heat In Finals

While we would normally pull for the Celtics, and are among the many who were not impressed with "The Decision" LeBron James inflicted on the basketball world, we are huge Shane Battier fans and are absolutely thrilled that he gets a chance to compete for a title as the Heat took out the Celtics in Game 7 Saturday night, 101-88.

This sets up an interesting match for the Finals, between the Heat, which have paid a price for the perceptions around "The Decision" and the subsequent expectations of greatness which have not yet been fulfilled, versus the remarkable, almost collegiate culture for which Kevin Durant is largely responsible.

Glitz vs. grits is too glib, but you get the idea. Headline writers will have fun with Heat and Thunder as well.

To a large extent, Battier was a perfect pickup for the Heat. A veteran willing to take a secondary role, to focus on defense and detail - he's ideal for this team.

If they do win, he'll likely get the call on Durant for at least part of the time, and that's not easy. Durant is a tremendously gifted player who makes scoring look easy.

He and Russell Westbrook present some real matchup problems for the Heat, but it cuts both ways. James is a matchup problem for anyone and Dywane Wade is no day at the beach.

The play the two of them pulled off of James's steal was absolutely remarkable.

And it'll help to have a healthier Chris Bosh as well.