Los Angeles Lakers: 3 Most Surprising Players of the Early Season

The Los Angeles Lakers have had an up-and-down start to the 2013-14 season, but team struggles haven’t stopped players like Jodie Meeks and Jordan Hill from surprising fans with tremendous early-season performances.

The Lakers haven’t been at the .500 mark since Nov. 7, when they improved to 3-3 by beating the Houston Rockets on a Steve Blake three-pointer. They’re currently fourth in the Pacific Division with a 5-7 record.

Going to battle with Kobe Bryant sidelined—and the tandem of Steve Nash and Pau Gasol hobbled by injuries—has made the play of a select few that much more important.



Jodie Meeks

Provided how well Jodie Meeks has played during the 2013-14 campaign, it’s almost as if the MonStars stole his talent last season and just recently returned it to his body.

Believe it or not, Meeks is the Lakers' leading scorer through 12 regular-season games. He’s doing so with an average of 13.7 points per game. That stat isn’t exactly eye-popping, but his shooting efficiency in the early going has been remarkable.

The 26-year-old is shooting 52.8 percent from the field, which ranks him fifth among all qualified shooting guards. He’s also notched a scorching-hot 49.2 percent clip from beyond the arc, which positions him eighth among all qualified shooting guards.

He joins four NBA players at the same position who rank among the top 10 in both field-goal percentage and three-point percentage: Klay Thompson, Wesley Matthews, Kyle Korver and Arron Afflalo.

Meeks needs to improve his mid-range shooting, but he’s done a phenomenal job finishing at the rim, as Drew Garrison of SB Nation points out via Twitter:

The former Kentucky Wildcat is having a career year so far for the Lakers. He’s experienced a complete 180 from last season, when he shot just 38.7...

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