Kennedy Meeks Revisited

Promising Strength Inside.  Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)

After a lovely siesta in Barcelona, we’re back to dive into some more game tape. Coming into Saturday’s contest against the Mad Ants of Fort Wayne, Kennedy Meeks was putting up very respectable averages of 11.6 points on 45.9 FG%, to go with 8.5 boards – 3.6 on the offensive glass, which is where we begin our analysis.

The conventional wisdom states that defence and offensive rebounding are all, or at least mostly, about effort. While “trying” is certainly a part of it, there’s skill to creating extra possessions off missed shots, and Meeks has it.

On this play Meeks backs up a bit, then subtlely moves in to displace his man under the basket, creating the space he needs for the board, then he adds a nice up fake before laying it in:

Here Meeks is hoping to post up, but Lorenzo Brown decides to drive instead. Rather than just clearing the lane, Meeks again gets perfect offensive rebounding position, and follows with soft hook shot.

On this play, Meeks does a great job creeping along the baseline to get prime rebounding position.

On all of the above plays it’s not just the positioning that’s impressive, but the timing as well.¬†Meeks pulled down six offensive boards, 13 in total.

Coach Stackhouse also seems intent on playing inside out, offering any player the chance to post up multiple times, and initiate the offence from there. Meeks showed off some strong court vision on a couple touches. Let’s start with a sweet skip pass out of the low block.

Meeks makes a nice read to find Aaron Best for an open three, and Best draws a foul:

On this sequence Meeks makes an excellent rim-run, not letting an initial bump get him off his path. Then the bigman maintains deep post position, and makes a decisive move-then-pass for an open corner three.

But Meeks has trouble creating his own shot from the post. Here he gets ideal position on a smaller man, but fails to use his strength and is forced into a tough fadeaway, which he actually hits.

Here, on another post-up, Meeks seems a bit rushed, although he probably deserves some slack since Bruno clogs the lane on a poor cut, limiting his space to operate.

Despite struggling to score with his back to the basket, Coach Stackhouse posted up Meeks on the game’s biggest possession. 4th quarter, 37 seconds left, Raptors 905 up 2. Not sure if Stackhouse will do this again any time soon:

Meeks is so determined to get a good look that he hooks his man, and is called for the offensive foul.

While it seems like Meeks is limited offensively – no deep range, spotty post game – he’s shown plenty of skill passing out of the post and causing havoc on the offensive glass. Offensive rebounding especially is at a premium in the NBA, so there may be a glimmer of hope for him to find some sort of Quincy Acy role (Acy, just 6’7, 240 pounds, has no discernible skill other than heart, and he’s somehow played 284 NBA games). Good news for Meeks is it seems Stackhouse will continue to give him post touches, so maybe by season’s end he’ll be a more serviceable scorer from the low block.