Shane Battier is often overlooked when talking about great defensive players. But the truth is, he's is the NBA's best man-to-man defender, and the way he does it is "the right way" of doing it.
Battier is probably the smartest player in the NBA right now. He's big, yet quick, he can stay with anybody, and he can cover them better than anybody else. Just ask guys like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade. When they come to Houston, they almost never shoot more than 35% with Battier on them.
He knows all of the star's favorite moves; he has said that he studies a ton of film before going up against the other teams best scorers. He knows Kobe Bryant's pump fakes and post moves as well as Dwyane Wade's cross over. Why? Because he is constantly studying film.
He's another one of those cases where stats certainly don't tell the whole story. He has never led or been close to the top in steals, blocks, or defensive rebounds, but he has always been one of the top, if not the best, man-to-man defender. That's what separates him from guys like Chris Paul or LeBron James. Paul is suspect in man-to-man, and he gambles a lot. James is above average in man-to-man, and he sags off his man too much to get blocks. Battier, on the other hand, is easily the best man-to-man defender in the NBA, as well as the smartest player in the NBA.