Heat forward Shane Battier, one of the NBA's best defenders for the last several years, was asked about his approach to guarding a player like Kevin Durant.

"You start out Sunday morning in church," he said with a laugh. "Say three Hail Marys. I've got some Buddha beads. You pray to all the gods.

"He's a tough cover. He's a guy who I have the ultimate respect for. Outside of my own team, I think he's the best player in this league. He's hungry. He's relentless."

Battier later said Durant is "up there" in the rankings of best players he's defending in his career.

"I've seen his growth from his rookie year, and obviously his talent is unparalleled," Battier said. "But now he's starting to understand the game. Not just scoring baskets, but how to be a basketball player. When supremely athletic and talented guys figure that out, that's when it's game over."