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NBA Finals: Shane Battier earns his 'ribeye' in Game 7

By Royce Young | NBA writer

MIAMI -- Shane Battier, sink your teeth into your ribeye.

Benched in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals, Battier delivered one of the best quotes of the postseason.

"Sometimes you've got to eat a turd sandwich," he said. "Makes the ribeye taste better next time."

Battier's Game 7: 18 points on 6-8 shooting from 3.

That's not a ribeye; that's a prime-cut filet.

"Shane ain't hit a shot since I don't know when," Dwyane Wade said. "But tonight, he was unconscious."

Said Erik Spoelstra: "I mean, how awesome is that? It's so true. You have to be absolutely pure at heart about it and not get bent out of shape and get caught up in a dilemma. He was smart enough to know that sometimes it's about matchups, series, things change. But he's so important to what we do that eventually he would get his chance again. When he did, he made the most of it."

Gregg Popovich basically predicted Battier's breakout at Thursday morning's shootaround.

"It could be a call that goes in your favor or not," he said. "It could be a shot that's a good shot or a bad shot. It could be a random player that maybe hasn't done anything the whole game that all of a sudden steps up and does something. Coaches like to control everything, but we can't, and that's one thing that does drive you crazy."

It could be a random player that maybe hasn't done anything... That fits Battier, who entered Game 7 in a horrific shooting slump, hitting only 3-15 from 3.

"Honestly, I felt good the last couple of games," Battier said. "And I made a couple 3s last game, so I felt really confident tonight."

Battier's rise probably saved the Heat, as Chris Bosh and Mike Miller each went 0-5 for zero points. Without Battier's supplementary scoring, the Heat would've been a two-man scoring show and probably wouldn't have had enough to outscore San Antonio.

"He stepped up," said Mario Chalmers. "To be struggling all series and to come out and hit six threes, that's big time."

As for his postgame meal, Battier said he hadn't decided. But he knows what he wants on Friday.

"Tomorrow, I hope my wife cooks me a nice ribeye," he said. "I'm looking forward to my ribeye tomorrow."

You should. You've had enough turd sandwiches, I'd say.

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