Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 at 1:49 pm  |  18 responses

Shane Battier: East Is The More Physical Conference

After enduring very physical matchups against the Knicks, Pacers and now the Celtics, Shane Battier has come around on the East being the more physical conference (via Miami Sun-Sentinel): “After a decade in the NBA, Shane Battier blew it off as mere bluster, the notion of the Eastern Conference being more physical. ‘I didn’t think it was real,’ he said as the Miami Heat prepared for this latest challenge against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals. But now, after six months in the East following 10 seasons in the Western Conference with the Memphis Grizzlies and Houston Rockets? ‘Yeah,’ he said. ‘It’s real.’ [...] ‘It’s much more of a physical tempo. I guess ‘tempo’ is the right word,’ he said. ‘In the Western Conference, it’s much more free-flowing. The philosophies are more open, so, as a result, I think there’s less physical play.’ Battier acknowledged he was among those to scoff at the eastern bravado. ‘We always thought the Eastern Conference weren’t basketball players,’ he said with a hearty laugh. ‘We thought they were just thugs, unskilled thugs. Of course now, the tables are turned.’”

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  • http://www.IRapSports.com IRapSports

    Now just imagine if Lebron played in the Western conference for 82 games. He would be averaging 35,12,10 instead of 27, 8, 8.

  • hyperactive

    battier, please retire

  • Jerome

    No Shane, you just play on the most hated team in the L. Hence, the physical “tempo”.

  • Pais

    I assume it’s to compensate for not being as good?

  • ChristianBulleN

    The notion that the east is a tougher conference is ridiculous.. In the NBA players and coaches alike, except for a select few, are just rotating in and out of different teams, so there is no difference. Maybe if he were speaking at a high school level there could be more of a comparison of how “physical” teams play from coast to coast as at least players usually play somewhere locally around where they grew up.. though even that is beginning to change.

  • Reeld

    It’s funny How ppl wanna argue against the mans opinion when he’s experiencing it first hand, how can u argue if ur not playing in the league

  • Durham’s finest

    Shane will handdlleeee you in scrabble.

  • http://www.nba.com danfields

    it is stupid to argue against him. he actually knows what he is talking about, plus you can tell it by watching nba games of both conferences. thats nothing new tho. he also didnt say that the east is playing better basketball, he just said its more physical. stating the obvious. so what?

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    Cosign dan. Y’all gonna argue against a guy with first hand experience who got into Duke WITHOUT basketball? That’s a bit like telling a general that a bullet shouldn’t hurt a guy too bad.

  • Zabba

    Or telling a gay guy that this watermelon up his ass won’t hurt too much.

  • rand33p

    East: More Physical
    West: Consistently stronger/better


    ^^ LOL ^ Well i like Biggie so phuk you !

  • 305

    I’d say that’s an accurate assessment. East teams like Bulls, Celts, Heat focus more on defense, and west teams like Mavs, Spurs, Thunder always seem to focus on racking up points. Always makes me wonder how things would play out if the playoffs weren’t separated by East and West, but instead were organized strictly on overall records.

  • TheMoosiah


    Last I checked (which was 30 seconds ago. hahaha), the east leads the west in championships 35-27. Is there any other stat that matters when comparing the conferences?

  • LA Huey

    Well, if you think about it, during Shane’s career, the elite teams out West have been the Kings, Mavericks, Lakers, Spurs, and Suns. The Spurs (pre-2010) were the only grind-it-out team of the bunch. The wanna-be teams usually copy the style of those in power. The East’s elite has been the Pistons, Nets, Celtics, Heat, Pacers, Cavs, Bulls, and Magic. All very focused on team defense, and with the exception of the Magic, they were all very physical teams.

  • LA Huey

    And it makes sense that Battier didn’t recognize it until coming out East for the playoffs. That’s when teams truly focus on their style of basketball. You can’t play grind-out ball for 82 games and except to fulfill your potential in the playoffs. Well, unless you’re on bath salts…

  • permaculture james

    There are many ways to the mountaintop.
    @305: I’ve wondered about ‘overal records’ approach but what about the reality that teams’ records are inherently regional? E.g. Portland’s travel is already onerous: closest teams are Utah and Golden State and it just gets further from there post Seattle/OKC move. I just don’t think it is realistic in a country as big as ours to play all the teams an equal amount of games and get an accurate reading.

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