When fans started questioning the team's cold shooting at the beginning of the season, Brandon Jennings fired back by saying that the Pistons didn't practice shooting during their practices, which left many people scratching their heads. Now coming into playoff positioning crunch time, the Pistons have rebounded quite well from their poor shooting form... all, it seems, except for Jodie Meeks.
Since arriving in Detroit on a three-year, $19.5 million contract during the offseason, Meeks has posted some of the worst field goal and three-point percentages since he arrived in the League in 2009, averaging 39.6% and 30.1% respectively. In January, Meeks scored only 34.5% from the field, and he's shot an abysmal 17.6% from deep in February.
Just what exactly is wrong with Jodie?
A player who has career shooting averages of .421/.370/.885 has struggled mightily for the Pistons, and all the video breakdown of his games have helped Van Gundy narrow down the only likely candidate for Meeks' slump. Per MLive's David Mayo:
"There's really not any technique problems with him," Van Gundy said. "It's more confidence and things like that that he's battling. It's not like he's not following through, or he's not on balance. He's technically sound. He'll come out here and do his shooting drills and knock everything down. So there's no problems there. He's just really struggling mentally, and guys go through that."
Shooters regularly go through cold, or hot streaks, but what Meeks is currently going through is a major slump for a player of his caliber. The only month where the Pistons free agent acquisition hit his shots consistently was December, where he shot .494/.500/.917 in nine games. Since then, however, he has been nothing short of a black hole on offense.
In the same piece by David Mayo, Van Gundy answers questions regarding the team's stance towards hiring a shooting coach, telling MLive that although the Pistons had an alloted coaching availability and money put aside for one, they decided not to go through with it.
"We had some names (of candidates), I did some preliminary talking to some people with ideas, but by the time we got into that, it was November, and it was too late, in my mind, to insert somebody in the middle of it. So there were already enough new voices here that we didn't want to mess with it. But we'll see where it goes in the offseason."
Jodie Meeks showed he had some shooting left Friday night against the Knicks' porous defense, scoring 16 points on eights shots, and hopefully it is a sign of better things to come. With the Pistons in the running to land its first postseason appearance in the past six years, Motown could stand to use some extra production from its bench, particularly Jodie Meeks.