Orestes Meeks comments on Jodie's play

The father of Jodie Meeks, Orestes Meeks, was contacted by KSR and expressed thoughts on his son's play, and other topics. KSR also looks at the myth regarding Meeks lacking athleticism, which has been a knock on Jodie his critics have chosen to use as a basis for their pre-draft rankings as well as a focused negative following his being chosen by the Milwaukee Bucks in the second round.

Former Kentucky All American Jodie Meeks completed league play in Las Vegas prior to this past weekend. During the five games of league play Jodie averaged a team leading 19 points an outing, and pulled down 2.2 rebounds a game. Meeks saved his highest scoring game for the finale, when he scored 29 points against the league's entry from the Toronto Raptors.

In that final contest Meeks put his team ahead in the final minute by hitting a three with 15.1 seconds remaining, giving his team the lead at 82-81. Quincy Douby canceled Jodie's potential game winning shot by nailing a basket with 1.3 seconds remaining, to give Toronto the 83-82 win. The game was the only loss for the Bucks in Las Vegas.

When contacted by KSR regarding Jodie's play, Orestes Meeks, Jodie's father, told KSR, "Jodie knows what he can do. What will be interesting is when he begins to get to the free throw line more. His point total will grow, and the critics will move on to someone else. He is not flashy, but he definitely gets the job done."

Orestes Meeks is referencing the pre-draft critics who questioned Jodie's athleticism and cast him as a one dimensional role player who shot the ball well.

The elder Meeks told KSR, "I think with Jodie the recurring theme has been, 'he can't be that good or we (critics) would have told you.' So they look for things to discount."

UK fans probably remember the evaluations on Jodie when he signed with Kentucky indicated he was an athletic player who could drive the ball to the hoop and score in traffic, but had questionable shooting ability and range.

I was very skeptical of the NBA evaluations regarding Jodie's athleticism, having seen his speed and quickness on display as a Wildcat. Many Kentucky fans were also skeptical of questions regarding Jodie's athleticism.

Among the critics is ESPN's Chad Ford, who on ESPN's draft comments about each player wrote regarding Meeks, "Meeks can provide some big-time scoring off the bench. Nice pick here, although I worry about his lack of athleticism."

Was Ford referencing the same Jodie Meeks that tied Ty Lawson in a quickness drill in Chicago? The same Jodie Meeks that has a vertical leap that easily clears a yard stick? The same Jodie Meeks who UK fans saw scoop up the ball and easily glide to the basket with opponents in pursuit, and losing ground?

Perhaps Ford's analysis was swayed by Jodie's playing style? Instead of going for a spectacular dunk on steals, Meeks opted for seemingly effortless gliding coasts to the basket for easy layups and soft dunks. The spectacular dunk is not Jodie's style, he's going to make the easy play. In a play the next play fashion Jodie's facial expression isn't going to change when he is on the court playing, he is all business. Jodie will make a spectacular defensive play look easy, score the hoop and go back on defense all with the same look of intensity on his face.

Orestes Meeks commented on Jodie's athleticism, "His athleticism should not be a question for any true fan at UK since they have seen him so much."

Heading into the draft I thought Meeks was a much more well-rounded player than either of his two more highly touted junior counterparts at Duke and North Carolina, Gerald Henderson and Wayne Ellington.

In Las Vegas Henderson averaged 6 points per contest, playing in only three games. Ellington averaged 14.4 points an outing in his five league games.

Ironically, their scoring averages are in reverse order of their 2009 NBA Draft order, where Henderson went in the lottery at #12, Ellington barely squeezed into the first round at #28 and Meeks went in the second round at #41.

Every now and then the old saying, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" holds true for summer league play. A young player will go off in Vegas and that will constitute the high point of their career. I don't think we have to worry about that being the case for Jodie Meeks. This young man has desire, a great work ethic, and is well grounded; three ingredients that are essential for success in the NBA for most players.

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