After San Antonio’s Game 5 win, Heat forward Shane Battier was as honest as ever when reflecting on the loss. Battier said that Miami was “exposed” defensively against the Spurs, who finished with a all-time best 118.5 offensive rating in the Finals. From Bleacher Report:
“It was a difficult year,” Shane Battier said after his final NBA game, repeating a sentiment he’d privately expressed several times during the season. “It was a trying year from the standpoint that there were very few pure moments. That was the biggest difference between the past two years.
“And we were always trying to conjure something. And for a while there, in the second half, it worked. But you can’t win a championship trying to conjure something. It has to be who you are, and it has to be pure, and that wasn’t the case for us this year.”
That manifested itself in numerous ways, but mostly on one end: The one end that the Heat couldn’t afford to be average, especially against an opponent as efficient as San Antonio.
“Unfortunately, I made the mistake of looking at our defensive rank before the Finals,” Battier said. “And I know that no team outside the top 10 had ever won the title. So we’d have to do something pretty historic to beat the best offensive team in the league. And that 12th ranking is not the result of two weeks or a month of basketball. It’s the result of an entire season. And we just didn’t have the fundamentals to stop an offensive juggernaut like the Spurs. And we were exposed.”