There was little debate about Kyle Singler’s NBA position after four years at Duke. He was a small forward, through and through. But he’s spent as much time at shooting guard, born of necessity, through his first two NBA seasons and acquitted himself well. After the Pistons acquired Jodie Meeks in free agency and saw Kentavious Caldwell-Pope blossom in Summer League, he doesn’t expect to spend much, if any, time in the backcourt this season.
But he’s going to be studying the power forward playbook, just in case.
“With pretty much the shooting guard spot full, I’ll see most of my time at the three,” Singler said after the bulk of the Pistons roster – including returning World Cup gold medalist Andre Drummond – went through a long pre-training camp workout Tuesday. “But he did mention focusing on the four because he likes to go small. So I’m going to focus on that side. I probably won’t get a lot of reps there, but at least to know what they’re doing. He does like the four spot to have those skills.”
“He,” of course, is Stan Van Gundy, who made great use of Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis as stretch fours playing alongside Dwight Howard while in Orlando.
Stretching the floor will require Singler to become a more consistent deep 3-point shooter. He’s already proficient from the shorter corners, but Van Gundy gave him the task of extending his range for his summer to-do list.
“I also put on strength to help me out with that,” he said. “I did do some longer shooting, trying to extend my range, because he did mention that to me while we were at Summer League. But the other thing he told me was pay attention to my lower-body strength. That’s where most of your lift and power comes from with your shot, so I’ve been working with (assistant coach) Bob (Beyer) and he’s giving me some good tips on focusing on extending my range, because it does need improvement.”
Singler spent the bulk of his summer working out with his brother E.J. at the University of Oregon and his weight-lifting was overseen by Bryce Daub, Ducks strength coach and son of Oklahoma City Thunder strength coach Dwight Daub.
“I spent a lot of time with him and I’ve really noticed the difference in my strength,” he said, his weight staying constant at about 235 pounds.
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