Doug Collins made a pivotal decision to shake up the starting lineup during the first half of the season, and because of it, the 76ers have been on fire as of late. There was no acquisition necessary for this jumpstart; he was under our nose the entire time.
It wouldn’t be a bold statement to say that chicks dig the 3-ball. If that’s the case, then Jodie Meeks doesn’t spend many lonely nights. Putting his personal life aside, let’s get to the basics of Collins’ decision.
The 76ers, going back to last season and the nightmarish memories of Eddie Jordan’s uneducated Princeton offense, the team lacked a 3-point threat. Andre Iguodala’s rafter-grazing teardrops weren’t cutting it and Thaddeus Young was clearly trying to be someone he’s not.
As Meeks sat on the bench, waiting for his opportunity to show off his stuff, we continued to trip over our own feet and make a mockery of Philadelphia. Fans joked and players seemed uninterested. Jordan deserved what he got; a brotherly boot in the ass.
At the start of the 2010-11 season, Meeks found himself in a familiar situation; on the bench. He must have had plenty of time to sit back and think of what he did with the Kentucky Wildcats on that memorable night.
The day we received Meeks from the Milwaukee Bucks for basically a pack of chewing gum, Sixers fans all over the city were asking each other, “Is this the kid who scored 54 on Kentucky?” The answer is yes.
Meeks, who sat out one minute in his career-game against the Tennessee Volunteers, only missed 7 shots all game, and didn’t botch a free-throw attempt in 14 tries. He went 10-15 from behind the arc and gathered 8 rebounds to go along with 4 assists. Assuming his 4 assists resulted in 2-point baskets, Meeks accounted for 62 points that night.
Why wouldn’t the Sixers give this kid a chance, who is so obviously capable of putting the ball in the basket? Evidently, Collins was asking himself the same question. Meeks finally received his opportunity, and he has flourished so far in the Sixers’ current system.
Meeks has acquired the reputation as a spot-up 3-point shooter, but there is more to Meeks than meets the eye. He may possibly be the fastest player on the team, his defensive skills are undeniably excellent, and he can drive to the hoop and shoot off the dribble. The Sixers need to find a way to give Meeks the ball more, because the kid can shoot he rock.
In the current season, Meeks is averaging just over 10 points a game. He is the NBA’s 6th best free-throw shooter and the 13th best 3-point shooter. Without a doubt, the kid has an upside, and the realization of this hasn’t set in yet in Philly. The kid is only 23-years of age. So, to conclude this piece, please, Sixers fans; appreciate number 20.