Zach Lowe of Grantland wrote a great article (redundant) about New Age Shane Battiers, in other word players who can:
• Defend shooting guards.
• Defend small forwards.
• Shoot 3-pointers proficiently.
Lowe names two Pistons with the potential to meet that criteria:
• Kyle Singler: Singler shot 35 percent from deep and provided some valuable spacing for the shooting-challenged Pistons while logging time at both wing positions. Has to prove he can hold his own defensively.
• Khris Middleton: Detroit is high on Middleton’s potential to become precisely this sort of player, but he attempted just 45 3s and didn’t receive consistent minutes (or really any meaningful minutes at all) until the last month of the season.
It’s rather generous to include Kyle Singler and Khris Middleton, neither of whom shot even league average on 3-pointers. Middleton was a really bad defender when the Pistons inserted him into the rotation, and though he made great strides, he still didn’t prove he can defend either position. Singler lacked the foot speed to defend shooting guards, and he was only so-so against small forwards.
Both players have potential to improve on their rookies years and become New Age Battiers, but they have a long way to go to meet all three criteria.