Don’t Overlook Jodie Meeks as a True LA Lakers Bright Spot This Season

Several things have gone wrong for the Los Angeles Lakers this season, but Jodie Meeks is clearly not one of them.

The former Philadelphia 76er has been a solid contributor for the Purple and Gold and probably earned himself a good pay increase heading into next season. Meeks struggled last year amid the nightmarish campaign the Lakers suffered through, but he has since bounced back.


Last Season

Meeks played in relief of Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash where he struggled. Mike Brown was reluctant to play the reserve because of his defensive shortcomings, and it stung Meeks.

The second-unit guard offered as much to Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times: "It's disappointing because everyone wants to play."

Brown was eventually fired, which opened up the door for Meeks to get more minutes. Mike D’Antoni has always favored the long ball, and that opened up the door for Meeks to get some court time.

And yet, he struggled. Between a clear lack of role definition on the team and injuries ravaging the roster, Meeks suffered as the team imploded.


The Present

Fast-forward to this season, and his situation has been reversed. Jodie Meeks has been given the green light to shoot the ball and is averaging a career high in field-goal attempts and points per game with the All-Star break approaching.

What’s more, Meeks is converting nearly 40 percent of his three-pointers and provides the Lakers with some occasional playmaking. Indeed, he has nearly doubled the amount of shot attempts taken in the pick-and-roll during 2013-14 when compared to last season, according to Synergy Sports (subscription required).

This is a clear indication that he has been given more opportunities to handle the ball and make plays for himself and his teammates. D’Antoni has entrusted him with additional respons...

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