Following his team's exit in the second round of the NBA Playoffs, Wizards head coach Scott Brooks looked ahead to the offseason and mentioned his preference for more three-point shooting. The Wizards were eighth in the NBA in three-point percentage (37.2), which is very good. But they were just 16th in three pointers made (9.2/g) and 20th in attempts (24.8/g).
In comes Jodie Meeks, an 8-year veteran whose biggest selling point is outside shooting off the bench. There are some questions with his durability, as foot and thumb injuries have limited him to an average of 33 games the past three seasons, but on paper he could fill an important void for the Wizards behind Bradley Beal at the shooting guard position.
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Meeks, who averaged 9.1 points per game last season with the Magic, entered free agency looking for exactly that type of situation.
"Before I signed I asked what my role would be and it's pretty much what I've been doing my whole career. Come off the bench, obviously behind Brad," Meeks said. "I just wanted to find the best situation for myself with what I bring to the table shooting-wise and playing with a lot of energy. I wanted a perfect fit for both sides and I think I did that."
Meeks, 29, prides himself on being able to hit threes. Last season he shot 40.9 percent from three compared to 40.2 percent overall from the field. Of his 7.1 field goal attempts per game, the majority of them (3.8) were from beyond the arc.
Last season the Wizards had two players, Beal and Otto Porter, who hit 40 percent or better from three on 2.0 attempts or more per game. In Meeks, they could have a third. That should help further unlock the potential of Brooks' offense, which reached new heights in his first year with the Wizards. Their 109.2 points per game were the most ever by a Brooks-coached team, same with their 23.9 assists.
Meeks is familiar with Brooks' system and thinks he will be able to fit well within it.
"I saw the team last year and what I can bring to the team, but also coach Brooks has been coaching a long time. Even in OKC I saw how he utilized shooters and players coming off the bench. He gives players a lot of freedom and that's what I like," he said.
Meeks will spend much of his time playing alongside Tim Frazier, whom the Wizards acquired in a trade with the Pelicans the night before last month's draft. Like John Wall, Frazier is a pass-first point guard. Meeks should be able to complement him well as a roaming shooter.
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