If Game 3 of the NBA Finals proved anything, it was that the San Antonio Spurs could shoot the air conditioning lights out of the gym. They couldn't miss during the first half of their contest with the Miami Heat, displaying an absolutely unconscious ability to knock down shot after shot.
At one point, they were posting a 19-of-21 performance from the field.
Kawhi Leonard was the standout, recording 29 points on 10-of-13 shooting. He was aggressive from the start, and he confidently splashed in quite a few perimeter jumpers, something that would've been almost inconceivable when he was coming out of San Diego State a few years back.
Why? As ESPN.com's Fran Fraschilla tweeted, Chip Engelland deserves a lot of credit:
Spurs' shooting coach, Chip Engelland, factors into win tonight. Before Leonard arrived in San Antonio, you'd have hard time imagining this.— Fran Fraschilla (@franfraschilla) June 11, 2014
Engelland has obviously had a big impact on San Antonio, but he may soon be bringing his talents to a different squad. As Marc Stein reports for ESPN, the Golden State Warriors—and the Utah Jazz—are starting to show a bit of interest in the shooting coach:
Only now one of Engelland's biggest fans on the planet is the new head coach of the Golden State Warriors. Steve Kerr succeeded Engelland as the top perimeter gun at Pacific Palisades High School in Southern California and, according to NBA coaching sources, wants to bring him to the Bay Area to sit on the Warriors' bench.
The Spurs have managed to fend off all past interest in Engelland and presumably will fight hard to hang onto him now, such is the reverence for his work with the likes of Leonard, Parker and Green. But with Kerr in pursuit and new Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder also said to be in the hunt, it's only getting tougher.
One would think that Kerr could teach shooting.
After all, the newly hired head coach of the Dubs spent his NBA career dominating from beyond the arc, splashing in triples while surrounded by players capable of drawing defensive attention. However, being a head coach means that he'll have plenty of responsibilities, and it's unlikely he'll be able to devote enough attention to this developmental aspect of the game.
And that's where Engelland would come in.
"I want head coaching experience next to me," the former TNT broadcaster explained during his introductory presser, as relayed by the Bay Area News Group's Diamond Leung.
Engelland might not have any experience sitting in the chair Kerr now occupies, but he's been an assistant in the Association since 1999, including his current stint with the Spurs—one that stretches nearly a decade.
Would Chip Engelland be a good hire for the Golden State Warriors?
He certainly has experience, and the thought of such a renowned shooting coach helping out Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson may cause sleepless nights for everyone else in the Western Conference.
Hell, that might be the case for the entire NBA.
Kerr could easily avoid this area, counting on his own prowess from downtown. Kudos to him for wanting to create the best staff possible, even if it might involve sacrificing a bit of pride.