Shane Battier enjoys talking basketball. Discussing box scores? Not so much.

"Yeah," the veteran Miami Heat forward said with a grin following Wednesday's victory over the Charlotte Bobcats, "if you look at them, you're going to think I'm the worst player in the NBA and I probably shouldn't be in the NBA."

He's probably right. Wednesday, he missed both his shots against the Bobcats, grabbed two rebounds in his 20 minutes, and did not have an assist.

It was typical of the statistical start he is experiencing since signing with the Heat as a free agent in the offseason. Through the Heat's 3-0 start, he is 1 for 5 from the field, with two rebounds and one assist, being outscored this season by -- gulp! -- Joel Anthony and Juwan Howard.

And yet there stood coach Erik Spoelstra, following Wednesday's 96-95 escape act, extolling the virtues of his scoreless sixth man.

"A perfect example," Spoelstra called Battier of a player whose contributions get lost in the statistics, equating him to Heat hustle mainstay Udonis Haslem.

"The numbers don't necessarily ever tell the true story," Spoelstra said. "But with a guy like Shane and often guys like U.D., they do so many intangibles that don't show in the box score."

Wednesday, that meant Battier not only showing his versatility by defending multiple positions, but also taking the second-half challenge against awkwardly efficient Bobcats center Boris Diaw, who scored only two of his 16 points after the intermission.

Battier, who has built a mental dossier of just about every opponent over his 11 seasons, knew exactly what he wanted to accomplish.

"Well you know with Diaw he's coming back over his left shoulder," he said. "You try to take one thing from the guy."