According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, Lance Stephenson worked with shooting coach, Hal Wissel during the offseason. On Saturday, Wojnarowski tweeted:
One of the wisest decisions a player made this summer? Indiana’s Lance Stephenson choosing to work with fabled shooting coach Hal Wissel.
For those unfamiliar with Hal’s background, he has quite a lengthy NBA resume. He was an Assistant Coach with the Hawks, Grizzlies, and Nets. He worked as the Director of Player Personnel with the Nets, as well as, serving as an Advanced Scout with the Bucks and Mavericks. Hal has also written various books and launched a series of instructional camps and clinics. One of his most noteworthy ventures has been his work with his "Shoot It Better" clinics which are available to professional athletes.
According to the testimonials on Hal Wissel’s website (www.coachwissel.com), he has worked with numerous NBA players to improve and/or refine their shooting such as Dale Ellis, Steve Francis, Mike Miller, Pau Gasol, Baron Davis, Matt Barnes, etc.
A cursory reading of some of the various testimonials from players and coaches highlights Wissel’s ability to teach technique, improve shooting percentages, and coach via a personalized approach.
Take a look at what some members of the NBA community had to say about Wissel:
"Hal, Scott and Paul Wissel ignite the spirit for improvement. They have the ability to crystallize situations, and then select the correct teaching technique in order to achieve maximum success." – Hubie Brown
"Hal Wissel helped me improve my field-goal percentage and three-point percentage, and his training led to my shooting over 40 percent on three-pointers for four consecutive seasons." – Mike Miller
"In my first three seasons in the NBA my three point percentage was 20.0 percent. My next season working with Hal Wissel I improved my three point percentage to 36.6 percent in the regular season and 42.2 percent in the playoffs." – Matt Barnes
During Stephenson’s first two seasons in the league, he shot a rather abysmal 4 for 35 from behind the three point arc. Last season, he improved to 33% shooting from downtown (stats via RealGM). Stephenson credits this improvement to assistant coach, Brian Shaw, stating:
"He’s motivated me. My first two years, I couldn’t hit [any] threes. [But] by playing with him in a little 3-point game and getting with him and giving me the confidence to knock down big shots, he helped me a lot with the confidence in my jump shot."
If Lance was able to improve his accuracy from long range this much from working with Coach Shaw over the course of a season, it is logical to believe that the product of working with Hal Wissel this summer could be an even larger jump in Stephenson’s field-goal percentage this season.
Perhaps, Adrian Wojnarowski will turn out to be correct. Maybe Lance choosing to work with Wissel will be the best decision any player made this summer?