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Jodie Meeks thinks he and the Wizards are a 'perfect fit'

Jodie Meeks thinks he and the Wizards are a 'perfect fit'

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.

[RELATED: What we learned from Wizards' Summer League]

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.

[RELATED: Wizards Tipoff podcast - Will John Wall sign the deal?]

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. 

[RELATED: John Wall and how he took the Wizards to the next level]

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: How they can keep it rolling in Game 5

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USA TODAY Sports

Wizards Tipoff podcast: How they can keep it rolling in Game 5

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chase Hughes, Travis Thomas and Julie Donaldson reset the series and looked ahead to Game 5.

They were joined by TSN Sports anchor Kayla Grey to find out the Toronto perspective. The Wizards have all the momentum in this series, now they just have to keep it going.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!

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Even after injury-riddled year, Wizards are seeing peak John Wall in playoffs

Even after injury-riddled year, Wizards are seeing peak John Wall in playoffs

You would not have known it by John Wall's towering poster-dunks over Jonas Valanciunas and Jakob Poeltl in Game 4, or his fourth quarter takeover after Bradley Beal fouled out, but Wall is still technically working his way into midseason form from the left knee surgery that kept him out more than two months down the stretch of the regular season. Add into the equation that he sprained his right ankle in Game 3, then resprained it in Game 4 right after Beal went out, and it's quite clear that what he is doing is simply not normal. 

Throughout Wall's recovery, his head coach Scott Brooks remarked how Wall can regain his form unusually quick following an injury absence. Game 4 was just his eighth game back, yet through four playoff games he is averaging an absurd 26.8 points, 13.0 assists, 5.0 rebounds, 3.0 steals and 1.0 blocks.

If that's what he's doing eight games removed from recovery, and against the top team in the Eastern Conference, what does peak playoff form look like? 

"I told y'all, I told all the media that I only need like three or four games. I really didn't need too many games," he said. "All the hard work that I did in those two months was to prepare myself to be ready for the playoffs."

Wall said he started feeling like himself in his final regular season game, his fourth outing following the injury rehab. It was against the Celtics and he scored 29 points to go along with 12 assists, seven rebounds, three blocks and three steals.

"I just started to see shots fall down that I was falling short with a couple games before that," Wall said of that night.

Brooks saw a change in Wall against the Cavaliers on April 5, in just his third game back. That game Wall put up 28 points, 14 assists, four rebounds and three steals. Most importantly, he logged 38 minutes.

"I knew I was going to challenge his body with extra minutes," Brooks said. "The way he responded to that, I knew he was back."

Whenever the turning point happened, there is no looking back. Wall has found his groove to not only impact, but at times dominate playoff games against one of the best defensive teams in basketball.

In Game 4 once Beal went down, Wall looked like the best player on the court. He scored eight of the Wizards' final 14 points to seal the victory and did so on a bum ankle. He outshined both DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry, two All-Star guards.

Wall even played sound defense on DeRozan in big moments. DeRozan shot 10-for-29 in the game.

"I think I did a good job of contesting him," Wall said. "Just do whatever it takes to help this team win."

What Brooks predicted would happen has indeed played out. He has been with Wall for about two years now and knows what the star point guard is made of.

"I've been with him two years, he loves to play," Brooks said, noting there have been some tough conversations to convince him to come out of games.

Consider this: Wall has scored 20 points or more in six straight games, his longest streak of the 2017-18 season. He has actually reached 23 points or more in those six games, which is tied for the longest such streak of his entire career.

Through eight games overall and four games in the playoffs, Wall has reminded everyone of what the Wizards missed. Yes, they went 10-3 when he first went down with the injury in late January, but that was not sustainable.

They need Wall to reach their full potential as a team and especially in the postseason. Late-game situations like in Game 4, when Beal exited and it was tied with 4:58 to play, are when the superstars separate themselves.

Wall did that and now the Wizards are in good shape with the series at 2-2 and having won two straight.

"Blame everything on him," Brooks joked of the Wizards' up-and-down regular season. "If he wasn't hurt, we'd be better, right?"

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