The acquisitions of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard dominated the headlines for the Los Angeles Lakers over the summer. The addition of the two superstars was thought to be a giant leap in the right direction for a franchise that might be on the verge of rebuilding after the potential retirement of Kobe Bryant in two years.
Although Nash and Howard were the talk of the town in Los Angeles, the Lakers also added a few other pieces that might help boost this team’s chances of being a legitimate title contender this season and possibly for the foreseeable future.
One of the other additions to the Lakers’ roster in free agency was sharpshooter Jodie Meeks. With Meeks’ ability to be a force from beyond the arc and another offensive threat off the bench, the signing of the 25-year-old was a given with the Lakers’ need for a threat from outside.
Even though the signing of Meeks was considered a move in the right direction, the Lakers have yet to see it pay dividends with the backup shooting guards struggling in the preseason shooting an ugly 26.7 percent from the field.
Despite a poor start with his new team, Meeks believes things will begin to turn around once the rotation set by the Lakers’ coaching staff via Eric Pincus of the L.A. Times:
“The rotation is not really set right now,” said Meeks. “It’s hard to tell how many minutes that you’ll actually play on a night-to-night basis.”
For role players, regularity can have a positive impact on performance.
“You always have to be ready mentally but when you know that you’re going in at a certain point, it makes it easier to get into a rhythm and get your mind right,” said Meeks. “I think once we have that foundation set, I’ll be fine and the rest of the team will be too.”
It’s hard to argue with Meeks’ point here as the Lakers’ coaching staff was feeling out the roster with so many new faces in the starting lineup and coming off the bench. Eight games with quite a few players fighting for a roster spot and others getting to know their new teammates and surroundings was a difficult situation for all those involved.
Hopefully, Meeks is right on the money with his comments as he may be thrust into the starting lineup for the season opener against the Dallas Mavericks with Kobe possibly still ailing from his foot injury.
With a winless preseason (0-8), the pressure on this team to come out firing on all cylinders in the first week of the regular season will be almost overwhelming. Fans and NBA analysts will be expecting nothing less than a hot start right out of the gate or the criticism will kick into high gear with no mercy spared for the new-look Lakers.
In case you missed it: Dwight Howard talks about the slow process of putting together a championship team.