PR2011: Jodie Meeks

#M33KS - Credit: NBA.com

It’s funny when you search on Google images and find a picture from your own website. Anyway, the photo originally came from NBA.com.

Expectations weren’t high for Jodie coming into the season. Last year, in limited time between the Sixers and the Bucks, Jodie only managed to shoot 38% from the floor and 32% from behind the 3-line. For a guy whose main talent was “scoring”, those percentages were unacceptable. NBA scouts knew he could score in college, but he hadn’t proven that he could score efficiently in the NBA.

Then came the start of the year, and Jodie was left on the inactive list, behind guys like Kapono and Nocioni on the perimeter depth chart. Then injuries and Jason Kapono’s awfulness happened, and Jodie started to get some opportunities. He came off the bench with some impressive performances, such as a 21-point game against the Heat, almost single-handedly keeping the team in the game with his scoring. His overall production still wasn’t terrific, but his ability to stretch the floor convinced Doug Collins to give him an opportunity to start at shooting guard alongside Andre Iguodala (instead of Evan Turner).

From there, he never looked back. In his first game as a starter, he came out with a 20-point first quarter. He’s been a productive option since who, as I detailed in my first real post here, has more of an impact than what basic stats will tell you. While he started the season wearing a suit, he now just starts. Quite the turnaround on a team whose turnaround has been remarkable.

OFFENSE

Shooting

41.2% FG, 40.2% 3FG, 90% FT*

Jodie’s calling card is his shooting. He has a quick release and enough size so that he rarely gets blocked. He works at his best as a “stand-still” shooter, meaning he’s better while really just standing behind the line, though he usually sets his feet after he catches the ball. He actually steps into position when shooting from behind the 3-line, which means that, despite his quick release, he does need a split second of space before shooting.

He doesn’t shoot much right off of screens really because he struggles in those situations. He can do it when he has the space and time to step into a shot, but he can’t just come off a screen like Jason Kapono or, if you remember way back when, Kyle Korver, and turn into a shot without really setting his feet.

*This blog sponsors Jodie Meeks’ basketball-reference page. The old blog name is on there but should change in the next day or so.

Scoring

10.0 PPG, 7.2 FGA, 4.4 3FGA, 2.5 FTA

Jodie shoots a lot of threes, over 4.5 per game, leading to many of his points. That’s why he plays, so complaining about his relatively low 2-point percentage to me isn’t reasonable. He isn’t a great finisher, though it looks like he’s improved lately especially on fast-breaks. It’s actually better if he runs to the 3-line, but that’s for another time. As a free-throw shooter, Jodie is one of the best in the NBA. Often he will be put in at the end of games as the “closer”, shooting late-game free throws. He doesn’t draw fouls much outside of late game situations.

Passing and Ball-Handling

1.0 AST, 0.9 TO

Jodie’s not a great ball-handler, especially as a guard, which is OK since we have a guy like Andre Iguodala who can handle the ball very well as a small forward. Meeks won’t get many assists as he’s not a creator offensively. He won’t drive the lane in a half-court set often, and if he does he’s not looking to pass. He looks like he’s hurrying whenever he dribbles, which is alright if he actually knew where he was going at times. Put simply, he’s primarily a “D and Threes” guy who should have much control over where the ball goes offensively.

DEFENSE

Rebounding

1.9 RPG, 0.2 ORPG, 1.7 DRPG

Jodie is also not a good rebounder. I did mention at the beginning of this review that Jodie’s only basic statistical value came with scoring the basketball and stretching the floor, right?

Individual and Team Defense

0.7 STL, 0.1 BLK

Jodie again doesn’t have huge numbers in either of these stats, but he does have an impact defensively. He’s quick enough to stay in front of most shooting guards but not in front of point guards, while he’s too small to handle bigger guys. So he’s pretty much limited to guarding twos, though when he does guard them he’s very effective. He does have trouble keeping up with the Ray Allen-like guys who constantly circle around screeners, but he does do a better job than anyone else on the team. He puts in a lot of effort on the defensive end and has been a better defender than I or anyone else thought he could be. Like I said earlier, he’s a “D and Threes” guy, so he’s a perfect fit for the Sixers current lineup as a role player.

Tags: 76ers Basketball Jodie Meeks M33KS Sixers Sports

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