MEEK RETURNS

Posted by: Philadunkia
01/07/11 9:30 am EST

I believe at this point of the year we all understand the story of Jodie Meeks.  We understand his role and what his capabilities are at the NBA level.  Meeks is a shooter, someone who can knock down open shots and can get hot at any time.  He is also limited thanks to his smaller frame at 6-4, 208 pounds and doesn’t have a true knack for attacking the basket.

Meeks started off the season on the bench, not seeing playing time in any of the first six ball games.  With Doug Collins struggling to find rhythm and a winning formula, he gave Jodie a shot in the lineup while stealing minutes from the likes of Jason Kapono, Andres Nocioni and rookie Evan Turner.  Kapono eventually worked his way out of the rotation completely, while Meeks, Turner and Nocioni battled for the remaining minutes and starting spot. 

Against the Miami Heat on November 26th, Meeks had a breakout party going for an unforeseen 21 points while nailing five three-pointers off the bench.  His rare outcry granted him a spot in the starting lineup after a few more ball games.  Doug Collins at the time was desperate and realized he was lacking a true outside shooting threat.

In his first four starts, with the exception of a mild premiere, Meeks exploded onto the scene and provided another scoring threat for the 7-6.  He was knocking down open shots remarkably well drilling 65.4% of his three-point attempts as the ball club went 2-2 with him in the lineup.  One of those ball games included Meeks’ seven three-pointers and a 20 point 1st quarter against the lousy Bobcats.  The performance cemented his spot in the starting lineup, and at the time, shored up our missing starter on the perimeter opposing Andre Igoudala. 

Just take a peek at what accumulated in his first four starts. 

Date Opponent Minutes 3P FG 3P % Points
12/3 @ ATL 19 2/3 .667 9
12/4 CHA 35 7/10 .700 26
12/7 CLE 25 4/9 .444 16
12/9 BOS 40 4/4 1.000 19

 

Meeks was a rather unknown amongst NBA coaches and players at that time and his three-point percentage sky-rocketed thanks to an ample of open opportunities.  As teams have realized his strengths, Meeks has seen a drop-off in his numbers.  Since December 9th, his last eleven starts have only produced three double-digit scoring outbursts.

Opposing teams are forcing the smaller guard to put the ball on the ground and attack the basket.  Rarely do they let him escape the defenses’ sight and receive an open jumper, but rather keep a hand up and contest his looks.  Meeks is not capable of creating his own shot off the dribble; rather he relies on screens and other teammates to get opportunities.  What seemed like was his job in the starting lineup, is now falling out of his own grip.  And it is the most evident when looking at the teams recent eight-game road stretch. 

Date Opponent Minutes 3P FG 3P % Points
12/18 @ORL 26 0-3 .000 9
12/21 @CHI 26 1-5 .200 9
12/22 @BOS 31 0-1 .000 3
12/26 @DEN 33 2-5 .400 17
12/27 @GSW 43 2-9 .222 19
12/29 @PHO 17 0-1 .000 2
12/31 @LAL 17 2-5 .400 6
3/1 @NOH 19 0-1 .000 1
3/5 WAS 16 1-2 .500 5

 

If you take a look at the dreadful 8-game road trip the 76ers just closed plus the Wizards contest, you see Jodie has been less than stellar in the starting lineup.  His three-point shooting percentage was a remarkably low 25% over the last nine games.  That is his job for the ball club, to knock down trey balls on a consistent basis.  If his three-point jumper isn’t falling, Doug Collins has to start looking elsewhere.

Searching for answers is something Collins has done in the last four ball games.  Since Meeks’ second start, he has seen at least 26 minutes of time on the floor.  In the last four games, his numbers have been reduced to fewer than 20 a ball game. 

Some might look at his games against Denver and Golden State and justify his right in the starting lineup, but those are against two of the worst defensive teams in the NBA.  With the Denver Nuggets, Meeks struggled from the floor going 3-12 total, but hit nine free throws to make up for his lacking performance.  Against Golden State, he chucked up 15 shot attempts – 2nd most all season – while missing seven from beyond the arc. 

It looks like the Jodie Meeks experiment is heading southward and the 76ers might have a new starter alongside Igoudala once he’s healthy.  It was made clear against the Hornets that Collins was unsatisfied with his starting shooting guard.  In the fourth quarter he turned to the services of Jason Kapono for the first time in 21 games over Jodie.  Also, against the Wizards on Wednesday Kapono received playing time.  Not a good sign for the young shooting guard to get benched late in the game for a seldom-used guard.  It’s becoming apparent that his days as a starter are dwindling down. 

The real question, is where Doug Collins will turn to next in the starting lineup as he’s running short on options.


 
 
 

2 Responses to “MEEK RETURNS”

  1. Philadunkia » GM 36 RECAP: BBQ’D BEEF
    8. January 2011 at 10:00

    […] Did Jodie Meeks read my article?  […]

  2. Philadunkia » GM 38 RECAP: C’MON FELLAS
    12. January 2011 at 17:10

    […] –Jodie Meeks has put together his third straight double-digit scoring night with 13 points and three trey-balls.  Meeks is finally starting to heat up after having a cold winter and following my piece which proclaimed he could be losing his starting spot. […]

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