Jodie Meeks’ roller coaster season had more lows than highs

When Jodie Meeks signed with the Wizards last season, there was reason for cautious optimism. Here was a guy, plagued by injury over the past two seasons but capable of scoring in bunches – something the Wizards hadn’t had from a reserve in years. And even if he didn’t turn into a microwave scorer off the bench, many thought he’d still serve as a suitable backup to Bradley Beal.

He started the season hot, scoring in double figures in four of the Wizards first six games. Even though the sample size was minuscule at the time, it looked like the Wizards might have found their man. But even during that start, there were warning signs. He averaged 10 points per game, but it came on a nothing-to-get-excited-about 33 percent shooting while knocking down only 36 percent of his three-point attempts. He overcame his poor shooting early in the season by getting to the free throw line at an unusually high rate. He averaged 3.3 attempts per game even though he averaged less than 20 minutes per contest.

After his quick start in October, everything went downhill. His numbers dipped in nearly every statistical category and most didn’t recover for the rest of the season. He shot under 30 percent from 3-point range in December and January, not so great for someone the Wizards brought in to be a knockdown shooter. He averaged 4.9 and 3.7 points per game respectively over those two months and his shooting got so bad that he didn’t even get into several games, despite Washington’s lack of backcourt options.

With his role in Washington diminishing and the trade deadline around the corner, Meeks and his camp sought a trade. Unsurprisingly, there were no suitors.

A funny thing happened after it became clear he and the Wizards were stuck with each other for the rest of the season. His performance improved, and he put together his finest moment in a hotly contested game against the Celtics on national TV. He drilled a 3-pointer at the buzzer to force overtime, which helped the Wizards get a much-needed double-overtime win on the road.

Just when it looked like Meeks’ season was leveling out, things went south again on April 13. The NBA announced Meeks would be suspended 25 games for using a banned substance, just two days before the start of the playoffs. He missed the Wizards’ entire run and will still have to sit out the first 19 games of next season due to the suspension.

It’s hard to find much to be optimistic about when it comes to Meeks’ future. He’s coming off the worst season of his career and he turns 31 in August. On top of that, the Wizards drafted Troy Brown, a player who will likely cut into his playing time next season, even though he’s far less accomplished as a shooter.

As you’d expect, he’s already picked up his player option for next season, which means the Wizards will be on the hook for the prorated portion his $3.4 million salary after his suspension. There’s always a chance the Wizards find a way to unload him before next season, but whoever takes him back will surely be sending someone back with their own issues the Wizards will need to sort through.

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Wizards vs. Celtics final score: Washington overcomes 20 point deficit in wild 125-124 double-overtime win

Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 34 points (including 29 after the first half) while Markieff Morris added 20 and Otto Porter chipped in with 18 as the Wizards executed down the stretch to overcome a rough start and beat the Celtics 125-124 in double overtime on Wednesday night.

The Celtics, playing without Kyrie IrvingAl HorfordJaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart looked like a real-life version of Hoosiers as they connected on 8 of their first 11 shots to put Washington in an early hole. The Wizards trailed by as much as 20 in the first half, but they went on a late run to cut the Celtics’ lead to seven, 59-52, at halftime.

Beal, who was held to just five points in the first half, came roaring to life with 16 points in the third quarter to give the Wizards an 81-80 lead entering the fourth quarter.

The Celtics jumped back ahead early in the fourth quarter, but Beal created his own shot several times down the stretch to keep Washington within striking range. Then, with just five seconds remaining and the Wizards down 106-103, Markieff Morris inbounded the ball to a cutting Otto Porter who found Jodie Meeks in the corner for three to tie the game at 106 at the end of regulation.

The Wizards had a chance to ice the game in overtime with a two-point lead, possession of the ball, and just eight seconds to play – but Markieff Morris struggled to get the ball in which led to a turnover. Then, Jayson Tatum made a layup through contact on the ensuing possession to tie the game at 115. Tatum then returned the favor and let the Wizards off the hook, missing a go-ahead free throw with three seconds left which gave Washington a second chance in double overtime.

With the Wizards up 122-119 in the second overtime period, Bradley Beal drove baseline only to get double-teamed in no man’s land. Somehow, he found Tomas Satoransky who kicked it to Markieff Morris for a wide open three to put the Wizards up by six.

The Celtics were able to claw back within one, 125-124 and had an opportunity to take the lead on the final possession, but Tatum’s shot clanked off the back rim as Washington escaped with a much-needed win on the road.

Takeaways

Washington comes through in the clutch

There’s been plenty of chatter lately about Washington’s woes in the clutch, especially on the offensive end late in games. Were the Wizards perfect down the stretch? No. However, they looked a lot more composed and executed as well as you could have asked for in such a tight game.

Let’s break it down by period, shall we?

Fourth Quarter – After Marcus Morris knocked down a corner three-pointer which looked to bury the Wizards, Bradley Beal, the main guy who’s received this criticism remained calm and took Aron Baynes off the dribble for an easy layup to cut the lead to two. The next time down, again, he did his dance and took his man off the dribble for another layup close in to trim the lead to one.

With just five seconds remaining, Scott Brooks drew up an outstanding play in which both Beal and Porter curled off screens hoping to get either of them open for a three-pointer. Porter was not open for three but continued his cut through the lane to find Jodie Meeks in the corner for a wide-open three and he buried it.

Overtime – In the first overtime period, the ball continued to swing as Sato found Porter in the corner for three to open up the overtime period. Satoransky, who was a bit passive with his shot at times in the game, ran a perfectly executed pick-and-roll with Morris only to get fouled and knock down both free throws.

Double Overtime – Beal, who was so tired he could hardly cross half court, stayed in attack mode as he was able to draw a foul and get to the line to start the second overtime. Midway through the period, he took Baynes off the dribble yet again to finish with this nifty reverse layup and the foul to stretch Washington’s lead out to six, 125-119.

Game Notes

  • Ian Mahinmi, who’s played very well since receiving a DNP against Miami the other night had a terrific game with 14 points, 11 rebounds (6 offensive) on 6-of-9 shooting
  • Bad habits are turning into problems for the Wizards. Washington committed 20 turnovers resulting in 25 Boston points. But on the bright side, they only allowed 56 points in the paint!

Next up: The Wizards are off until Saturday when they host the Pacers at 7 p.m. ET.

Wizards at Pacers final score: ‘Everyone Eats’ yet again as Washington rolls to a 111-102 victory over Indiana

Eight Wizards players scored in double figures this evening led by Bradley Beal with 21 as the Wizards knocked off the short-handed Pacers, 111-102. Otto Porter scored 13 points (11 in the second half) and the duo of Tim Frazier and Tomas Satoransky combined for 12 assists as Washington wins their fifth straight game and improves to 10-6 without John Wall on the season.

After racing out to a 28-23 lead after one quarter, like we’ve become accustomed to, Scott Brooks inserted all reserves only to watch the lead quickly vanish. But it was Kelly Oubre who got fouled shooting a three-pointer which sparked a Wizards 9-0 run as the Wizards regained control 42-34.

Bradley Beal hit this nasty step back jumper late in the second quarter, something we’ve become used to seeing on a nightly basis as the Wizards enjoyed a 58-49 lead at halftime.

After a slow first half, Otto Porter caught fire for the Wizards with 11 of his 13 points coming in the third quarter as Washington was able to take control of this game.

Jodie Meeks and Ian Mahinmi had some very timely baskets in the fourth quarter (yes, you read that correctly) as Washington was able to pull away for the 111-102 victory.

Everybody eats once again

As mentioned, eight Wizards players scored in double figures tonight led by Bradley Beal with 21 and Kelly Oubre Jr. with 15 off the bench. However, Ian Mahinmi and Jodie Meeks also scored in double figures tonight, something we’ve seldom seen from them this season.

Not only did the team share the scoring wealth, but the ball continued to zip around. Washington combined for 29 assists tonight, their fifth straight game with at least 25 assists and it was Tim Frazier and Tomas Satoransky who led the team in that department with six each.

Markieff Morris was terrific tonight as he notched a double-double with 11 points and 10 assists and Mike Scott was his usual efficient self, connecting on 5-10 field goals for 11 points as everyone eats for the fifth straight game.

Ian Mahinmi and Jodie Meeks both had really good games

Jodie Meeks, who’s stated that he wants out of Washington in hopes of playing for a team where he can have a more prominent role did well in his audition with 10 points on 4-6 shooting. Meeks knocked down his first three-pointer of the night and also hit a nice baseline jumper in the first half at a time when the Wizards were struggling to score.

Meeks backed that up with five fourth quarter points including a three-pointer in transition to give Washington a double-digit lead.

Ian Mahinmi played one of his best games for the Wizards tonight with 12 points on a perfect 4-4 shooting to go along with seven rebounds. Mahinmi was active on the offensive end bullying his was for easy layups and dunks all night.

Tip Ins:

  • Washington turned the Pacers over 15 times converting that into 29 points
  • The Wizards shot 14-17 (82 percent) from the free-throw line tonight

Up Next: Washington heads to Philadelphia to take on the 76ers tomorrow night.