Jodie Meeks has had a positive effect on the Orlando Magic

Dec 6, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Orlando Magic guard Jodie Meeks (20) reacts after making a three point shot during the fourth quarter against the Washington Wizards at Verizon Center. Orlando Magic defeated Washington Wizards 124-116. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 6, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Orlando Magic guard Jodie Meeks (20) reacts after making a three point shot during the fourth quarter against the Washington Wizards at Verizon Center. Orlando Magic defeated Washington Wizards 124-116. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /

Jodie Meeks has finally returned to action. In his short time back, the value of his shooting is evident. It has helped transform the Orlando Magic’s offense.

One of the Orlando Magic’s goals this offseason was to acquire shooting. As a team that did not have a ton of 3-point shooters, and was already shaping up to be offensively challenged, the Magic needed to stock on some knock-down shooters.

That became apparent early in the summer when the Magic acquired Jodie Meeks from the Detroit Pistons for a conditional second round pick. It was clearly something worth waiting for.

Meeks, who missed all but three games of last season with the Pistons due to a fracture of his fifth metatarsal in his right foot that recurred this offseason, made a quick impression on the Magic in his first few games this season.

In his first game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Meeks went 2 for 3 from 3-point range, 4 for 4 from the free-throw line and 2 for 6 from the field, tallying 10 points, one rebound and three steals in 17 minutes. The most important stats here are those two 3-point makes.

Meeks made his debut after 19 games on the shelf recovering from surgery to repair a re-fractured bone in his foot and has made a clear impact.

Meeks is a streaky shooter who can catch fire at any moment. Having that type of weapon on the bench can be lethal at times. He can get you buckets when no one else can. Or he can be average.

He has proven that in his few games already in a Magic uniform.

Entering Wednesday’s game, Meeks is averaging 10.1 points per game while shooting 46.2 percent from the beyond the arc. He entered the rotation and immediately sparked Orlando’s offense.

Meeks followed his debut with a 16-minute, seven-point performance against the Detroit Pistons going 0 for 3 from long range. Then followed that with a 16-minute, 18-point performance going 4 for 5 from deep against the Washington Wizards. Again Meeks exploded for 20 points on 4 for 5 from deep in the Magic’s 131-120 win over the Atlanta Hawks.

Meeks playing a significant role for the Magic can have an enormous impact on this season. Whether he makes some big shots and fills up the stat sheet for Orlando or his contribution are noticed by other GMs that want to move in a new direction, Meeks being healthy is a major plus for Orlando.

Much has been made of the Magic’s crowded frontcourt with Nikola Vucevic, Serge Ibaka, Aaron Gordon, Bismack Biyombo and Jeff Green. Overlooked has been the depth at the guard position.

Frank Vogel has adjusted the lineup to have veteran D.J. Augustin start ahead of Elfrid Payton. Veteran combo guard C.J. Watson gets minutes at both guard spots. Meeks now comes in for about 20 minutes per game.

Orlando has made no secret they are looking to make the playoffs this season. Having Jodie Meeks healthy and ready to play gives the team a knockdown shooter who is not afraid of the big moment or taking a big shot in close games to get them over the hump.

If Meeks can stay healthy, the Magic may have their backup shooting guard position under control. Having Meeks on the floor gives Orlando a respected shooter who defenses cannot afford to leave open, in fear he will catch fire.

With Jodie Meeks showing early he is a capable scoring option off the bench, his minutes may increase as the season progresses. C.J. Watson has already had a noticeable decline in minutes since Meeks’ return. And Meeks is capable of spelling and playing with Evan Fournier for long stretches.

His ability to hit the three opens up the floor for Elfrid Payton to work too. It may be a coincidence, but the two games where Meeks had great shooting nights from deep (against Atlanta and Washington), Payton also went off — scoring 26 points and dishing out 14 assists against Atlanta and 25 points and nine assists against Washington with a perfect 3 for 3 performance from beyond the arc in each game.

He takes what the defense gives him as shown in the efficient way he scores.

Having Meeks on the floor creates space for Payton’s drive. It leaves him one on one to finish at the rim. Meeks’ knowledge of the game also puts him in position to space the floor properly so Payton can see the open passing lanes to all of his teammates.

It does not hurt Meeks is very efficient. He takes what the defense gives him, as shown in the number of shots he takes per game compared to his point production. And is still a threat to drive and pull up too.

Offensive production, which struggled mightily at the start of the season, has seen a slight shift recently.

A portion of this uptick can be attributed to Meeks. Playing one on one is a lot easier than playing two on one or even three on one. Meeks hitting shots keeps his man glued to him.

The offense can flow so much better when your shooters make shots and keep the defense honest.

Depth has been this Magic squad’s strength. They have many capable players who can contribute, but no go-to guy. Meeks, while not widely considered a go-to guy, is capable of filling the role on some nights.  Meeks is looking to show he is back and better than ever after his long layoff.

The Orlando Magic shooting guard position is set. The rotation all together looks pretty solid as we head into the end of December.

Next: Orlando Magic count on offense, win with defense

The Magic need to find more time for Meeks on the floor, especially beside Elfrid Payton. Hopefully, this chemistry will continue to get even better.