The 43-14 Miami Heat have won 14 straight games and sit atop the Eastern Conference by 6.5 games. LeBron James is having a historic season and is a lock to garner his fourth NBA MVP award. D-Wade and Chris Bosh are having their usual All-Star seasons.
However, oft-overlooked components to Miami’s success can be found in their role players. One of these important glue guys is 12th-year, 6’8” SF Shane Battier. The 34-year-old Duke alum, now in his second season with the Heat, has been playing his best, most productive hoops of late.
For the season Battier’s numbers are quite modest, but as of February 1st his production and efficiency have soared. After averaging only 2.2 ppg and shooting a woeful 18.8% from three-point land in January, Battier averaged 9.1 ppg and shot 53% from the 3 in twelve February contests.
In Miami’s two games in March, Battier has scored 14 and 12 points and knocked down 8 of 9 from long range. With these kinds of numbers coach Erik Spoelstra will surely continue to trust Battier to spread the floor and shoot daggers deep. Battier has season highs of 18 points, 7 boards (2X), 3 dimes, 3 blocks (2X) and 2 steals (3X).
With 70% of the regular season in the books, most fantasy GMs have their rosters pretty well set. But savvy GMs who like to find diamonds in the rough and play them when they’re hot should look to Battier, who is owned in less than 5% of fantasy leagues.