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NBA Los Angeles Lakers

Jodie Meeks Is Los Angeles Lakers’ Team MVP

Kirby Lee - USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee – USA TODAY Sports

Jodie Meeks had an up and down first season with the Los Angeles Lakers. He proved to be an extremely streaky shooter with the inability to finish in traffic. He struggled for large stretches to find his rhythm and found himself on the bench more often than not. This season he has stepped up his game and been one of the lone bright spots on the team.

Meeks is the third leading scorer on the Lakers while shooting 46 percent from the field and almost 40 percent from deep. He has expanded his offensive arsenal and is more adept at attacking the basket and finishing. His movement off the ball has improved greatly, and he is good for at least one backdoor cut a game. He is a more consistent scorer who has found new ways to put the ball in the basket.

Meeks has also become a better defender, something that has made him a better all-around player. He does not possess elite athleticism but is relatively quick and moves his feet well. He averages over a steal a game and can defend both guard positions.

This season, Meeks has been the best all-around player on the Lakers and one of the few who has been able to remain healthy. He missed one short stretch in the middle of the season but has been a major contributor ever since. He averages the most minutes and has been consistently good on a team lacking in many departments. His shooting stretches the defense and creates space for other players. His new found ability to finish makes him a threat in transition and a problem for defenders who close out on him to quickly.

He deserves the team MVP and should get plenty of looks in the offseason when he becomes a free-agent. His ability to expand his game and become a more versatile player will greatly help any team. The Lakers would love to have him come back, but it is likely that he will now be out of their price range.