This summer we re-calibrated the timing of his release from a 1 ½ or 2 motion jumper to a 1 count shot. We were doing a lot of reinforcement with a lot of reps so the motion became more a part of him. We also helped his release get faster by not bringing the ball up as high. We worked on shooting the ball from his eyebrows like Curry does, instead of what a lot of players do by shooting when the ball is above forehead.
I came up with a catch word for him to say to himself every time he starts to shoot: “8th grade shot.” Why? Because an 8th grader just jumps & shoots. They don’t think about how LeBron or Curry or any star shoots. They do what feels natural.
NG: Describe the process of working with Lin this summer:
DS: The first 3 weeks I was just getting him to be consistent with his shot so when he’s off with his team this year he knows his shot and is comfortable with it. Just like a musician knows he’s working with a fine-tuned instrument. As the summer wore on, we worked on getting him to use the same motion on every shot he took, whether it was off the dribble, coming around a screen or whatever. Every single shot has to have the same jump, same release.
One of the things we did was I had my current players (Pinewood girls) be the passer for him on his three point shot, and he was hitting 85 pct of them. Afterwards Jeremy said to me, “That’s the best I ever shot.”
NG: Lin wrote in his blog that he was making changes in his style for the time when he’ll be older and can’t rely on his athleticism. What did you do in that regard?
DS: The main thing we did was work on the efficiency of his shot so he didn’t have to use as much energy.
NG: Will being a starter help Lin’s shooting percentage this year?
DS: He’ll have a higher shooting percentage because after he takes his warm-ups an hour and half before the game, and does his regular pregame shooting twenty minutes before tip-off, he won’t have to sit on the bench and get cold before he goes into the game. The fact that he’s a starter and is always warmed up will help his percentage by itself.
NG: The Nets have a lot of young developing players. How do you see Lin helping them to get better?
DS: I don’t think any player makes another player better. I prefer to say Lin will help his teammates by giving them an advantage when they’re shooting by getting the ball to them where they have an open shot. He always tries to give a player an advantage, whether it’s because he gets them the ball when they’re open, or whether he attacks and by doing so gets somebody open. A great basketball player is someone who gives his team advantages.
NG: Project some possible numbers that Lin will put up this season:
DS: I can see him averaging 18 points per game, with 7.6 assists, shooting 48 percent from the field, 40 percent from three-point range, and 84 percent from the free throw line.
NG: Those are lofty numbers. So I have to ask: do you think Lin has a shot to become an All-Star this season?
DC: Yes I do. Aside from his improved numbers because of more opportunities, I think that because of his global popularity it is something that could be a reality.