Chip Engelland Rumors
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich would have you believe that’s even more impressive than it sounds, because the 6-foot-7, 24-year-old wing has had to adapt to a new position. “He was basically a big man in college,” Popovich said Monday before matching up against Anthony and the Knicks, according to NBA.com’s John Schuhmann. “He didn’t play on the perimeter. When he came, he couldn’t shoot a three until Chip Engelland got a hold of him. So all of this is new to him as a perimeter player, defensively, offensively, his development with some of the moves he has that Chad Forcier works with him on. All of that has been an education for him. So he just keeps progressing.”
Whenever Engelland works with a player, it starts with a conversation: How comfortable do you feel with your mechanics? Are there areas where you think you can improve? Where do you need help? “It’s hard,” Engelland said. “To improve and change mechanics that you’ve had for 18, 19, 20 years? It takes times to rewire those things.” Leonard was an easy sell, Engelland said. The Spurs acquired him in June 2011, and Engelland already knew from scouting him that his release point could use some refinement. Leonard had a tendency to bring the ball too far behind his head, and it reminded Engelland of the way Richard Jefferson shot the ball when he came to the Spurs in 2009. After working with Engelland for a season, and reconfiguring his release point, Jefferson shot a career-best 44 percent from 3-point range during the 2010-11 season.
“He literally changed my shot and changed my life, not to be too cliché,” Battier said. “He said, ‘Look, you want to make it to the league, you’re going to have to make some changes.’ So we basically reconstructed my shot and the rest, as they say, is history.”
Marc Stein: Among postseason challenges for Spurs is hanging onto Engelland. New GSW coach Steve Kerr, I’m told, covets Chip on his bench as assistant. Engelland, who famously worked w/Grant Hill & Tony Parker before helping Kawhi w/his J, also said to be sought by new Jazz coach Quin Snyder.