Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 3/6/12
MILWAUKEE -- The return of Jodie Meeks to Milwaukee on Monday night didn't come with much fanfare, but the 2009 Milwaukee Bucks' second-round pick sure has made a difference since being traded to the 76ers two years ago.Meeks, who has started all but one game for Philadelphia this season, has used his ability to score and connect frequently from 3-point range to help the surprising 76ers to the fourth-best record in the Eastern Conference."It's been fun getting an opportunity to play a lot of minutes and play on a winning team," Meeks said after scoring 13 points in a loss to the Bucks. "This team, I fit right in. I'm a shooter and a scorer. I like my role here."As a rookie with Milwaukee in 2009-10, Meeks didn't get nearly as much playing time under coach Scott Skiles. Meeks was playing 11.9 minutes per game and his 36.2 percent shooting when he was dealt to the 76ers at the 2010 trading deadline was far worse than it has been since the trade. Now in his third season, Meeks is playing 25.7 minutes per game and averaging 8.8 points on 42.2 percent shooting with more than half of his shots being 3-point attempts.But after playing in only 41 games in a Bucks uniform, general manager John Hammond shipped Meeks to the 76ers along with Francisco Elson for Primoz Brezec, Royal Ivey and a second-round pick."I was a rookie, so I had no idea what was going on," Meeks said. "It's a business, I understand that. I got introduced to it really quick that it is a business. I was just looking for opportunities, and fortunately for me, I landed here."I was happy (with the trade). I was thankful to the Bucks for giving me an opportunity by drafting me, but they decided to trade me. I knew Philly liked me a lot in the draft process, so I was happy to be here."Meeks was never given an explanation as to why Milwaukee traded him, other than being told "good luck" by Bucks officials and coaches before the deal was made official."It might be better for my career, and so far it has been," Meeks said.Meeks has also made a big impression on the 76ers' only All-Star, Andre Iguodala."He's a hard-working guy wanting to make it in this league," Iguodala said of Meeks, 24. "He's taking advantage of the opportunities that are given. A shooter is always going to be a need on every NBA team. He has something that teams are always going to be looking at."While the 76ers have been struggling in recent weeks and have lost eight of their last 10 games including Monday's loss in Milwaukee, Philadelphia is still 22-17 this season and leads the Atlantic Division by 1 games over the Boston Celtics."I think we're really good," Meeks said. "We're in a funk right now, but we have a lot of talent and a lot of guys that can score the basketball. We'll be fine."Follow Paul Imig on Twitter.
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