The NBA Finals are the stage on which special players might lift a team, but sometimes they can also be a time when a special team might lift a player. When both are happening at once, you have Shane Battier.

Most of the story lines are big, loud and obvious as the Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder break a 1-1 series tie with the first of three consecutive games in Miami on Sunday night. It is LeBron James and Kevin Durant dueling to see which superstar gets to be a champion first. It's Chris Bosh back from injury, rejoining James and Dwyane Wade to make the Heat's Big?3 whole again.

Battier is the quiet phenomenon, flaring across these Finals like something that is amazing to see but that you also fear will disappear — a shooting star. The longer he can last in that role without blinking out, the likelier Miami's title hopes.

This cannot be happening, can it?

Battier is not supposed to be starting and averaging 17 points a game in his first career Finals, fueled by scorching 9-for-13 accuracy on three-point shots.