Jodie Meeks to Benefit From Mike D'Antoni Hire

By Devin O'Barr
Jayne Kamin-Oncea / US PRESSWIRE

Although much of Los Angeles is disappointed that the 11-time champion head coach Phil Jackson will not be replacing Mike Brown, I can guarantee backup SG Jodie Meeks is rather excited to see Mike D’Antoni at the helm for the Los Angeles Lakers. The third-year guard out of Kentucky has a very high ceiling and the “run-and-gun” nature of D’Antoni’s offense will increase Meeeks’s production the rest of the 2012 NBA season.

It is no secret, Mike D’Antoni ball clubs put the ball in the basket. Thus, going to a team with four future Hall-of-Famers scoring will not be an issue whatsoever. However, this hire goes deeper than Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard. In this pick-and-roll offense full of quick offensive possessions the Lakers will rely much more heavily on their perimeter shooters.

Jodie Meeks is no stranger to racking up points, dating back to his Junior year at the University of Kentucky in 2008-09 where he averaged 23.7 PPG and shot 46.3% from the field. Since being drafted in 2008 by the Milwaukee Bucks, Meeks’s opportunities have been few and far between. However, in the 2010-2011 season Meeks gave the Philadelphia 76ers some much needed production. Starting in 64 games, Meeks averaged over 27 minutes a game, along with 10.5 points and an excellent field goal percentage of .425. Last season Meeks stayed about the same statistic-wise, and the 76ers decided to part ways with the guard in the monstrous Dwight Howard trade which allowed the 76ers to receive Andrew Bynum from the Lakers.

In 2012, Meeks has averaged a mere 10 minutes a game behind Kobe Bryant. Furthermore, the new Laker pick-and-roll offense will give him and incredible amount of opportunity and be the kind of role player that is needed to win a championship. If this team is similar to any D’Antoni team, the Lakers will feature a smaller, quicker lineup that is full of perimeter scorers like Meeks. Look for Meeks to be the beneficiary of an aged Kobe Bryant running up and down the floor along with Steve Nash’s uncanny ability to find the open man as well.

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