As an offensive-minded player, it was easy for Jodie Meeks to see the appeal in signing with the Washington Wizards in free agency, a team that won 49 games in the regular season and made it to Game 7 of the second round of the playoffs largely because their ability to light up the scoreboard.
There are many reasons why the Wizards' offense has enjoyed success, but for Meeks two parts stand out in particular: John Wall at point guard and Scott Brooks designing the plays. Meeks mentioned both in his first discussion with the media when framing why he signed with the Wizards.
"John's a great player, one of the best point guards in the league," Meeks said. "I'm looking forward to playing alongside of him. Hopefully he can can find me some good shots to knock down. I know he'll be looking for me."
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Wall was second in the NBA last season in both assists per game (10.7) and points created off assists (25.3). He is as good as anyone at pushing the pace and finding shooters on the fastbreak.
Meeks shot 40.9 percent from three last season including 47.4 percent from the corner. Of his 56 three-pointers last season, only four of them were unassisted. Much of Wall's time on the court will be shared with Bradley Beal, but certainly he will be able to find Meeks for open shots when they play together.
Playing with Wall has helped many players improve their offensive numbers and reap the financial benefits that followed. Meeks thinks he can complement Wall's pass-first mentality.
"Us shooters, we love that," Meeks said.
Meeks noted how Wall is a fellow Kentucky alum and said he was his host during a recruiting visit in Lexington. That was nearly 10 years ago.
As for Brooks, Meeks doesn't know him quite as well on a personal level. They were around each other last week in Las Vegas as several players on the team had informal workouts. Wall and Meeks were there along with Markieff Morris, Tim Frazier and Mike Scott. Brooks was around to observe and get to know his new players.
"He's been at every workout that I've been a part of. He's said he's excited to coach me, but I'm excited to play under him," Meeks said.
There are many reasons why Meeks is excited to work with Brooks.
"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. "He's a real low-key guy. Even before I got a chance to meet him, I've always heard great stuff about him... Coach Brooks played, so he understands how guys' bodies feel after games and before practices. I think he's the type of guy that listens to his players and that's one thing that players love."
With one year under Brooks' direction, his system is firmly installed in Washington. Now Meeks hopes to fit in and take it to the next level.
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