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Monday May 12, 2008 2:35 PM


Battier selected to NBA's All-Defensive second team


Rockets forward earns first selection to All-Defensive team


HOUSTON --

Before the 2007-08 season, Rockets forward Shane Battier listed making the NBA's All-Defensive team as one of his primary individual goals.

He can cross that off the list.

Battier was named to the NBA's All-Defensive second team on Monday, marking the first time the Rockets forward has been selected as one of the league's top defenders.

Battier became only the fifth player in franchise history to earn the honor and first since Scottie Pippen made the first team in 1999.

The Rockets forward finished third in voting for the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year, but came up four points shy of earning a spot on the All-Defensive first team. The defensive specialist received nine first-team votes and 11 second-team votes.

For the second straight season, Battier was the best defender on one of the league's top defensive teams. The Rockets forward guarded the opposing team's best perimeter option from game to game, matching up with some of the NBA's top scorers like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. He opted to come off the bench in two games so that he could cover NBA Sixth Man of the Year Manu Ginobili. He averaged 1.13 blocks and 0.96 steals.

With Battier leading the way, the Rockets limited their opponents to an average of 92 points (4th in NBA) on 43.3 percent shooting (2nd in NBA).

The Rockets forward failed to make the NBA's All-Defensive team by one vote last season. The two honorary defensive teams are selected by the league's coaches.