When the Miami Heat signed Shane Battier in 2011, a huge defensive wing need was met. This has been Battier’s mode of operation since he joined forces with the Heat. Although his numbers in 2012 don’t signify huge production for a bench player (6.6 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 1.0 APG), his defensive tenacity has helped solidify an identity for the Heat.
Besides being a great defender, Battier has also developed a lethal corner 3-point shot. Battier shot 43 percent from beyond the arc during the 2012-2013 season. This was the highest 3-point shooting percentage of his career. When you get to play on the same team as LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, you are bound to get a ton of open looks. This ultimately culminated in a higher shooting percentage somewhere. For Battier, it happened to be from beyond the arc.
Heading into the 2013-2014 season, Battier needs to continue being the glue guy for the Heat. This will mean shooting at least 43 percent from beyond the arc. By doing this, Wade and James are able to drive into the lane successfully because the corner 3-point shooters stretch the defense. Besides shooting well, Battier will also need to continue playing strong defense, which means still averaging at least a steal a game.
Although age isn’t on his side, Battier still has plenty of tangibles that make him an elite player in this league. Battier is one of the smartest players in the league, consistently using his own stats to improve his game on a year-to-year basis. This is why he is still one of the elite defenders in the NBA, and a perfect fit alongside the Heat’s Big Three.