Following the 112-95 loss to the Golden State Warriors, the Lakers set a franchise record for most losses in a single season. Many place blame on Mike D’Antoni and see him a scapegoat for the Lakers’ struggles this year.
After Saturday’s practice, Jodie Meeks offered praise towards D’Antoni, according to ESPNLA’s Dave McMenamin:
Jodie Meeks on Mike D'Antoni: "He’s very encouraging and I love playing for him. I know everybody else does too."
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) April 12, 2014
With injuries affecting most of the Lakers’ backcourt, Meeks emerged as one of the most productive players on the roster. In a victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder March 9, Meeks set a career-high by scoring 42 points. The performance caused D’Antoni to say he saw Meeks as the most consistent Laker.
This season, Meeks evolved from a spot-up shooter to a more complete offensive player. As a result, Meeks is having a career year and is posting 15.6 points per game while getting 33.1 minutes.
Meeks’ contract expires at the end of the season. In his two seasons as a Laker, Meeks fell in love with the city and the team. He expressed his desire to return to the Lakers.
The Lakers will be an interesting position during the off-season. For the first time since 2005, the Lakers will have a lottery pick in the draft. Added on, the Lakers have plenty of cap space to build a roster the front office feels could contend. With Meeks putting up the numbers he has over this season, the Lakers will have to consider bringing him back in 2013-14.
Jodie Meeks Scores Career-High 42 Points, Talks Kobe’s Mental Approach