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Jodie Meeks likely to start if Kobe Bryant sits opener

October 29, 2012|By Eric Pincus
  • Lakers Coach Mike Brown gives guard Jodie Meeks some instructions during a preseason game against the Trail Blazers.
Lakers Coach Mike Brown gives guard Jodie Meeks some instructions during… (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)

With Kobe Bryant (foot) a game-time decision Tuesday, guard Jodie Meeks appears to be Lakers Coach Mike Brown's pick to start the season opener against the Dallas Mavericks.

Meeks signed a two-year deal for $3.05 million this summer to play for the Lakers. The second season is a team option.

Over the course of the preseason, Meeks has found a groove from behind the arc (45.8%) but was dismal from two-point range (4.8%).

Brown had Meeks practice with the starters Monday. His teammates seem confident in the 25-year-old guard.

"Jodie is a shooter and we're going to give him the ball," Metta World Peace said. "It's that simple."

Spacing is vital on a team with the size of Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol. Entering his fifth season in the NBA, Meeks is a 37.1% shooter from behind the arc (Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers). In his best season, Meeks hit 39.7% from distance over 348 attempts in 2010-11 with the 76ers.

"Jodie's a great shooter.  He's been looking great in practice," Dwight Howard said. "I like him a lot, and I think he has the potential to be a really special player for our team. He can shoot the ball well for a guy his size. He's just smart, a smart player."

Naturally, the Lakers would prefer Meeks off the bench with Bryant as a starter. Guard-forward Devin Ebanks will likely get the reserve minutes at shooting guard if Bryant is a no-go.

ALSO:

Lakers: Week in review

A look at the Lakers' depth chart

The good, the bad and the ugly for the Lakers in exhibition games

You can email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.


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