Truth be told, there are at least three reasons why Shane Battier is arguably the most overrated player the Heat has on their roster.
He's a humble sportsman and has decent play. But he just doesn't measure up to the hype given him over the years.
What goes up doesn't necessarily go in
The former Duke University sharpshooter, like Ray Allen, was hired to provide the team with some range from outside the perimeter.
One of those players has not quite lived up to that tall order. Can you guess who has fallen short from downtown? Here's a guess: it's not the player, now known for "the shot" (Game 6, 2013 NBA Finals).
If you want to get right down to it, let's take a look at Battier's 3-point shooting performance last season.
Compared to Allen, who was simply terrific during the postseason (10.6 points per game and 55 percent from downtown), Battier's numbers were abysmal, and that's putting it softly.
During the playoffs, Shane averaged 9.6 points per game on 29.5 percent from 3-point distance, according to Basketball Reference.
A closer look shows that among the top-three players who typically shoot from downtown, (Battier, Allen and Mike Miller), Shane is last in accuracy, despite having more attempts (8.1 per game).
Sure, he had an outstanding Game 7 against the San Antonio Spurs on 6-of-8 shooting from long-range. But any player can have a breakout game in their career. But streaky players are not memorable.
Recall that the Miami Heat sharpshooter was benched over a shooting slump during the 2013 Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers.
And if that's not enough to convince you that Shane is an overrated player, he went 3-of-15 from 3-point territory in the first five games against the Spurs.
The True Shooting percentage (TS%) tells the real story
Fact: Battier has never been voted to an All-Star team, yet he's routinely lauded as an elite "stopper."
Perhaps, he commanded that reputation during his Houston Rockets days, but during his time with the Heat, he's routinely given the handle of elite "flopper."
Looking strictly at his statistics during the playoffs, Battier's TS% (a measure of shooting efficiency that takes into account 2-pointers, 3-pointers and shots from the line) was 48.9 percent.
Only Rashard Lewis and Joel Anthony, who both played limited minutes off the bench, fared worse.
Mike Miller and Ray Allen both shot 64.4 percent and 59.8 percent, respectively.
LeBron James and the Heat would have won another NBA title anyway
Simply put, even without Shane Battier's minuscule contributions during the playoffs, the Heat would have won another title. Someone else would have just stepped up and possibly made the numerous shots he attempted - and missed -- from downtown.
If you're not sold on this assertion, take a look at his Win Shares per 48 minutes of play (or WS/48). Among his other underwhelming numbers, Shane had a pathetic .077 compared to the NBA league average of .100.
Again, only two other players, Lewis and Anthony, fared worse. In their defense, they barely touched the ball during the postseason except during warm-ups and practices. Combined, they logged only 118 minutes of play compared to Shane's 392 minutes. I'd say they're off the hook.
The Heat's two other sharpshooters, Miller and Allen, had much better WS/48 numbers (146 and 129, respectively).
Heck, even Chris Andersen's play accounted for more wins. The Birdman had a whopping WS/48 of 309!
Again, Shane Battier is a humble player and has a credible place as a Heat role player. But if one looks at the numbers, as the front office does when considering contracts and rosters, he is falling short on expectations, period.
Bradley is a professional writer, journalist, sportswriter, and avid fan of the NBA, NFL, NCAA, PGA and all things tennis. He keeps a watchful eye on Miami Heat developments.
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