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NBA Update: Battier Shines in Defensive Battle Against Knicks
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 05/03/2012
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Shane Battier
Miami Heat - Forward
Drafted: 1st Round (6th Pick) by the Memphis Grizzlies (2001)
2011-12 Stats: 65 games, 4.8 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 1.3 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.5 BPG

Battier continues to be a defensive threat for the Heat, who lead the New York Knicks 2-0 in their first round series. In the first meeting between the two teams, Battier scored eight points, grabbed six rebounds and had one block as Miami blew out New York, 100-67. Battier held Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony to just 11 points on 3-of-15 shooting. Two nights later, Battier scored 11 points while tallying three rebounds, an assist and a steal as Miami went on to a 104-94 victory. "Having Shane out there is a huge plus," said teammate LeBron James. "He allows me to guard someone else. He does so many great things for us that doesn't show up in the box score." The Miami Heat will take on New York in game three at Madison Square Garden tonight.

Carlos Boozer
Chicago Bulls - Forward/Center
Drafted: 2nd Round (35th pick) by the Cleveland Cavaliers (2002)
2011-12 Stats: 66 games, 15.0 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 1.9 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.4 BPG

Boozer, an offensive powerhouse for the Chicago Bulls throughout the regular season, will look to carry maintain that momentum against the Philadelphia 76ers.  The series is tied 1-1, after the Bulls suffered a devastating injury to reigning NBA MVP Derrick Rose late in the first game. Boozer notched nine points, seven rebounds, four assists and one block in the 103-91 win over the Philadelphia 76ers to take an early 1-0 lead in the series. The Bulls struggled offensively in the second meeting with Philadelphia, as Chicago fell 109-92.  Boozer scored nine points and tallied five rebounds and an assist in the loss. The Bulls are used to playing without Derrick Rose, who missed a significant portion of the regular season due to injury.  In the games Rose missed, the Bulls went 18-9. "I've watched them respond to every challenge all year long," Coach Tom Thibodeau said. "This is the next one." The Bulls will travel to Philadelphia for game three on Friday night.

Elton Brand
Philadelphia 76ers - Forward/Center
Drafted: 1st Round (1st pick) by the Chicago Bulls (1999)
2011-12 Stats: 60 Games, 11.0 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 1.6 APG, 1.0 SPG, 1.6 BPG

Brand, who sat out the final two games of the regular season, began the opening round of the playoffs in an explosive manner. Brand scored a team-high 19 points while registering seven rebounds, four blocks and a steal in the 103-91 loss to the Chicago Bulls in the first game of the series. In game two, he tallied 12 points, five rebounds and three blocks as the Philadelphia 76ers tied the series at one with a 109-92 win over the Bulls, who lost Derrick Rose to an ACL injury at the end of game one. The Sixers outscored the Bulls in the third quarter, 36-14, turning an eight-point halftime deficit into a 14 point lead.  Philadelphia had six players, including Brand, reach double-figure scoring as the 76ers shot 59 percent from the floor. Philadelphia heads back to the Wells Fargo Center for games three and four with the momentum swinging in their favor. 

Luol Deng
Chicago Bulls - Forward/Center
Drafted: 1st Round (7th pick) by the Phoenix Suns (2004)
2011-12 Stats: 54 games, 15.3 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 2.9 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.7 BPG

Deng, a regular contributor for the Bulls, is averaging 36.5 minutes, 12.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game so far in the series against Philadelphia. Deng registered 17 points, six rebounds in the first game of the opening round in the playoffs, as Chicago defeated Philadelphia 103-91. Despite the win, Derrick Rose tore his ACL late in the fourth quarter and will miss the remainder of the playoffs. In game two, the Bulls struggled offensively as Deng posted eight points, five rebounds, three assists and two blocks as Chicago fell to Philadelphia 109-92. The series is tied 1-1 with the Bulls traveling to Philadelphia for games three and four.

Chris Duhon
Orland Magic - Guard
Drafted: 2nd Round (38th pick) by the Chicago Bulls (2004)
2011-12 Stats: 63 Games, 3.8 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 2.4 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.1 BPG

Duhon, who has been a reliable contributor off the bench for the Orlando Magic, has averaged 14 minutes per game against Indiana in the first three games of the first round playoff series. Duhon registered an assist in the first game of the series, where Orlando claimed an 81-77 win. He scored three points, while pulling down two boards and dishing out two assists as the Magic fell to the Pacers 93-78. The Pacers took a 2-1 lead when they defeated the Magic 97-74.  Duhon recorded two rebounds, three assists and one steal in the loss. The Magic will look to tie things up with the Pacers in Orlando in game four Saturday afternoon.

Dahntay Jones
Indiana Pacers - Guard/Forward (2003)
Drafted: 1st Round (20th pick) by the Boston Celtics
2011-12 Stats: 65 Games, 5.3 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 1.0 APG, 0.4 SPG, 0.2 BPG

Jones, who averaged 16.2 minutes per game during the regular season, has seen very limited time so far this postseason. The Pacers lead the Magic 2-1 in the series. Jones did not see time in the first two games against Orlando where they lost the first game, 81-77, and came back to win the second, 93-78. Jones saw five minutes in the third game where Indiana defeated Orlando 97-74 to take a one-game lead in the series. The Pacers will play game four in Orlando on Saturday afternoon.

Josh McRoberts
Los Angeles Lakers - Forward/Center
Drafted: 2nd Round (37th pick) by the Portland Trail Blazers (2007)
2011-12 Stats: 50 Games, 2.8 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 1.0 APG, 0.3 SPG, 0.4 BPG

McRoberts and the Los Angeles Lakers lead the Denver Nuggets 2-0 after two games at the Staples Center. The Lakers, who are missing Metta World Peace for their first six playoff games due to a suspension, have not struggled without their small forward. The Lakers took the series lead after defeating the Nuggets 103-88 in game one before outlasting Denver, 104-100 in game two.  McRoberts, a reserve off the bench for the Lakers, played the final 1:58 of game one when the Lakers' lead was assured.  The Lakers will travel to Denver for games three and four.

J.J. Redick
Orlando Magic - Shooting Guard
Drafted: 1st Round (11th pick) by the Orlando Magic (2006)
2011-12 Stats: 65 Games, 11.6 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 2.5 APG, 0.4 SPG, 0.1 BPG

Redick is coming off an explosive finish to the regular season, but the Magic trail the Pacers 2-1 in the opening round. Redick registered six points, two rebounds and three assists in the 81-77 game one win over the Pacers. The Magic then dropped the next two games to the Pacers who now lead the series 2-1.  Redick scored 13 points and tallied one rebound and three assists in the 93-78 game two loss, and netted 13 points and an assist in the 97-74 game three loss.  Orlando will look to tie the series up at two games apiece on Saturday when they face the Pacers in Orlando.