Last season, Cory Joseph began the year as the backup point guard to Tony Parker on the San Antonio Spurs‘ depth chart. However, Joseph was outplayed by Patty Mills, and subsequently lost his backup role. Now, with Mills projected to be sidelined for much of the 2014-15 NBA season, Joseph will have to demonstrate the ability to play quality minutes this upcoming season to solidify San Antonio’s bench.
Most notably, Joseph’s three-point shooting must improve. In his three-year NBA career, Joseph is shooting a lowly 28.4 percent from behind the arc. There is some hope for his three-point shooting prospects, however, as Joseph shot 41.3 percent from three in his only season in college basketball.
Spurs assistant coach Chip Engelland also gives Joseph hope at becoming at better shooter. Engelland has facilitated the recent shooting improvements of several Spurs, including Danny Green, Boris Diaw, Kawhi Leonard and Parker. Most notably, Leonard, who played in an interior role at college, has shot over 37.4 percent in all three years at the NBA level. Engelland has a rare understanding of both the mental and physical nuances of jump-shooting.
Certainly, the Spurs will settle for less production from Joseph than Mills, who tallied an impressive 17.2 points per 36 minutes in the 2014 NBA Playoffs. Still, with only Parker and Joseph the only true point guards other than Mills on the roster, Joseph will have to step up to provide another weapon off of San Antonio’s bench.