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Old 11-15-05, 08:17 AM
Eddy from Austin's Avatar
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Spurs' shooting gets assist

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Spurs' shooting gets assist

Parker benefits from Engelland, who worked with Hill

By Chris McCosky / The Detroit News


Layne Murdoch / Getty Images

Spurs point guard Tony Parker has made a dramatic turnaround, averaging 22.5 points on 58.2 percent shooting this season.



Engelland


AUBURN HILLS -- It looks like my old traveling buddy, Chip Engelland, is out to make it tougher for the Pistons to win their championship belts back from the Spurs.

Back in the day -- it was only seven years ago, but it seems like another lifetime -- Engelland was Grant Hill's shooting coach with the Pistons. Since he wasn't considered an actual assistant coach, Engelland had to travel to the games on commercial airlines, just like us hacks.

I'm happy to report he's traveling in much better style, and better company, these days. After Engelland spent two years as the Nuggets' shooter-tutor, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich hired him for his staff.

"I finally found someone I thought was not just professional enough, but knowledgeable enough, credible enough and understood pro athletes enough to become a part of the family," Popovich said. "He also has a track record of players that he's worked with, who are players I know and respect. I know full well how far they've come under his tutelage."

Engelland worked wonders with Steve Kerr, who played for Popovich, as well as with Hill and Larry Hughes. He helped the Nuggets raise their field-goal percentage from 41 to 44 percent in his first year, then to 46 percent last season. He took their free-throw efficiency from 69 percent to 76 percent in each of the last two seasons.

With Engelland on board, the Spurs were third in the NBA through Monday in field-goal percentage, which is typical, but they were fifth in free-throw shooting. The Spurs, who shot 75.6 percent from the line last season, are shooting 78.7 early this season.

Engelland appears to be making the biggest impression on point guard Tony Parker. At this point the last four seasons, Parker averaged 11.9 points on 37.8 percent shooting. Through the first two weeks of this season, he was averaging 22.5 points on 58.2 percent shooting. He scored at least 20 in four of the Spurs' first five games.

Engelland, who was a ball boy on John Wooden's 1975 NCAA champion UCLA team, did to Parker what he did with Hill -- essentially told him to forget everything he thought he knew about shooting and start over.

Parker had one consistent shot in his repertoire, a running tear-drop jumper. Engelland explained to him the mechanics of that shot, how he used a thumb for leverage, and had him incorporate it into his regular shooting motion.

"It's like two, three steps backward," Parker said. "A little bit like Tiger Woods when he changed his swing. I totally change everything, basically. The way I hold the ball, the way I do my routine, everything. I just start from scratch."

Not only is Parker making jumpers, he's also making free throws. After shooting a career-worst 65 percent last season, he made 12 of his first 15.

Tim Duncan is making free throws, too, but that might not have anything to do with Engelland. Duncan doesn't ask for or take any advice on his free-throw shooting.

"I think, through osmosis, (Engelland) will help Timmy," Popovich said, laughing. "Timmy has a different deal in his contract. Timmy's free-throw improvement will be through clairvoyance and intuition."
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Old 11-15-05, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddy from Austin
Tim Duncan is making free throws, too, but that might not have anything to do with Engelland. Duncan doesn't ask for or take any advice on his free-throw shooting.
So can we expect this to continue? My money's on no.
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Old 11-15-05, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
"I think, through osmosis, (Engelland) will help Timmy," Popovich said, laughing. "Timmy has a different deal in his contract. Timmy's free-throw improvement will be through clairvoyance and intuition."
I'd love to go out for beers with Pop. He's freakin' hysterical!
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Old 11-15-05, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
It looks like my old traveling buddy, Chip Engelland, is out to make it tougher for the Pistons to win their championship belts back from the Spurs.
I think the Pistons are worried.
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Old 11-15-05, 04:30 PM
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I think Tony's FG % is up because he's shooting a lot of point blank layups.
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Old 11-15-05, 05:33 PM
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It's good to see Chip Engelland getting the credit that he truly deserves. Throughout the years he has really helped a lot of the NBA players improve their shooting. And it sure is great to have him on our side.
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Old 11-15-05, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jones
I think Tony's FG % is up because he's shooting a lot of point blank layups.
Maybe part of Chip's coaching is on what shots to take when as well as how to take them.
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Old 11-15-05, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jones
I think Tony's FG % is up because he's shooting a lot of point blank layups.
actually I think his shot has looked better
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Old 11-16-05, 12:46 AM
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I suspect Chip's sucess is he gets the "funk" out of their head and replaces it with solid fundamentals.

Instead of wondering about making the shot, they're worrying about solid technique and mechanics instead of "overthinking" it.

Or it just could be magic.
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Old 11-16-05, 08:14 AM
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Old 11-16-05, 09:48 AM
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Engelland is totally da bomb !!!!

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Old 11-16-05, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddy from Austin
Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Tim Duncan is making free throws, too, but that might not have anything to do with Engelland. Duncan doesn't ask for or take any advice on his free-throw shooting.

"I think, through osmosis, (Engelland) will help Timmy," Popovich said, laughing. "Timmy has a different deal in his contract. Timmy's free-throw improvement will be through clairvoyance and intuition."

All joking aside, Tim is not that great of a shooter to eschew any helpful advice from a proven teacher. I also remember Olajuwon offering to work with Tim on a few moves when he showed up at the practice facility during last year's playoffs. It seemed as though that offer was politely shunned as well.
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