I came across this article from Bucksetball.com, a Milwaukee Bucks blog (there’s truly a blog for everything) and ESPN affiliate, that talks about the Bucks need to improve their abysmal outside shooting from last year. The writer isn’t too encouraged about the possibilities, other than Jodie Meeks:
What gets my hopes up a little bit about possible playing time opportunities for Jodie Meeks was this quote from Skiles about playing rookies, “when you’re suiting up in practice you don’t look as guys as rookies or veterans, you’re just looking at the best guys you can find and trying to put them out there. I just sort of let my eyes and ears tell me what’s going to happen.”
Skiles went on about Meeks, “Jodie runs the floor very well, he’s a much better athlete than people give him credit for. He can get around the rim and finish strong, dunk on people. I’m as interested in seeing how he does as anyone. Each time the level has play went up a notch, he’s been able to go up with it.”
Meeks is as much of a potential answer to the three points woes as anyone. In summer league (and this is where I say I know it’s only summer league and the competition isn’t so hot but …) Meeks finished up at 8-15 from deep, a small sample size, but encouraging none the less. He even had a game winning shot robbed after a buzzer beating runner by Toronto’s Quincy Douby. It wasn’t merely the numbers Meeks put up over the summer that was encouraging, he was always under control and drew praise from nearly everyone who watched him play. Perhaps this was to be expected of a former Kentucky star.
“Being at Kentucky prepared me for life. There’s always media at Kentucky, even after the games at a restaurant. It’s prepared me a lot and has helped me keep a good head on my shoulders.”
Among the perks of playing at big schools like Kentucky are the alumni coming back to play over the summer.
“I’m pretty good friends with Tayshaun Prince, Derek Anderson and Tony Delk, they’ve all been helpful.”
Of those three, Meeks probably has the most Delk in him. Fun fact: Tony Delk has a fifty point game this decade. Insane. Meeks has found a quick mentor in Michael Redd and thinks he can do more than just score.
“(Redd) has been helpful a lot. He came in when I came in this fall and has tried to help me as many ways as he could. He said there’s going to be a lot of challenges because everything is so new. I’m trying not to make to much of it, those are some big shoes to fill. I’m just a guy who’s going to try and do whatever a team needs, whether it’s scoring one night or defense or whatever.”
And Redd has high hopes for Meeks as well.
“He’s a great kid, meek and humble. He’s a deadeye shooter and I’m going to work with him at my position just like Ray did with me and try to instill some things in him.”
Whether Meeks will be able to unglue himself from the bench remains to be seen. If he’s not, all is not lost. Redd spent all but 35 minutes of his first season nailed to the pine, but spent a lot of time with Ray Allen learning what it took to be a pro. Whether the strong shooting guard tradition continues is up to Jodie Meeks now.