The Washington Wizards lacked a back-up shooting guard last year, and it was one of the main reasons they couldn’t beat the Boston Celtics to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. Now, the Wizards just added a new piece that will likely get them over the hump.
Jodie Meeks is instant offense off the bench, and that is exactly what the Wizards needed. Meeks is an incredible three-point shooter and he rarely ever takes a bad shot on offense. While he lacks the ability to create his own shot, his ability to space the floor in catch-and-shoot scenarios more than make up for that.
Last season, Meeks averaged 9 points a game while shooting an impressive 40% from the three-point line. The biggest factor though for Meeks is whether he can stay healthy or not. When he is healthy and given minutes, he can fill up the stat sheet in a hurry.
While Meeks lacks some defensive traits, his hustle on the defensive side of the ball keeps him in games. He will never be a lockdown defender, but his quickness will keep the ball-handler in front of him. What fans will also like about Meeks is that his defensive effort doesn’t drop if he’s not getting the ball on offense; he is a talented veteran with a good head on his shoulders.
Meeks has a high basketball IQ on the offensive end, even though his assist numbers do not reflect it. He will hardly ever over-dribble during an offensive set, and if his shot isn’t there he will pass out of it. Meeks is an underrated slasher, knowing when to cut to the basket when his defender is playing too tight on him to avoid giving up the three-point shot.
He is also a very good off-ball player. When John Wall and Bradley Beal are out of the game, the Wizards will be able to run plays to get Meeks either an open look for three, or a wide-open lay-up. Meeks has a great understanding of where he needs to be on the court, and how to efficiently run around screens to get open for his shot.
If Meeks is able to stay healthy, this will be a great addition for the Wizards. The contract is very cheap so it is a low-risk, high-reward move. The Washington Wizards just found their spark plug off the bench, one that will hopefully inch the Wizards that much closer to a bid in the Eastern Conference Finals, and maybe even the NBA Finals.