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Is Jim Boylen the Best Shooting Coach in the NBA?

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

No, I'm not talking about the failed interim coach of the Bucks Jim Boylan, I'm talking about assistant coach of the San Antonio Spurs, Jim Boylen.  The San Antonio Spurs have been lights out from the field over the past few seasons and it didn't just happen over night.  Throughout their first four title runs, the Spurs were known for their defense rather than scoring ability, but that script has been flipped, so to speak, over the last 5-6 seasons and its helped them dominate the Western Conference.  So, who deserves the credit for this success?  Sure, Gregg Popovich and R.C. Buford should get credit for putting guys on the floor that bought into the system, but what about the system itself?

One of the unsung heroes of the latest Spurs Championship team is none other than shooting coach, Jim Boylen.  Boylen came onto the Spurs; staff in 2013 and you can see how he has helped guys like Tony Parker develop a mid range (and now long distance) game, as well as Danny Green who has become a sniper from downtown.  

From mid range, Parker had struggled early in his career.  If we look at hsi stats from 2012 compared to 2013, Boylen's first year in San Antonio, we see a drastic increase in his mid range shooting percentage.

Tony Parker Mid Range Shooting Percentage

3-9 ft

10-15 ft

16-23 ft

3pt

2012

45.7%

45.2%

39%

34.5%

2013

50%

46.2%

44%

52.2%

So far this season, Parker is shooting 50% from the field and 68% from beyond the arc.  Boylen has helped Parker go from a pretty good player to one of the elite talents in the league and arguably the best point guard.

Along with Parker, a number of players on the Spurs have also benefited from Boylen coaching style:

Shooting % from 2012-2013

2012

2013

Kawhi Leonard

FG-49%, 3pt-37.4%

FG-52%, 3pt-37.9%

Marco Belinelli

FG-39.5%, 3pt-35.7%

FG- 48.5%, 3pt-43%

Patty Mills

FG-46.9%, 3pt-40%

FG-46.4%, 3pt-42.5%

Pop and R.C. get credit for the recent success of the Spurs, and for good reason.  However, without Jim Boylen's shooting style the Spurs may not have the arsenal they have from the field.  Once again the Spurs have the best of the best on their team.  I wonder how long before a team snatches this guy as their head coach.



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