Fact or Fiction presents both sides of key issues the Orlando Magic will face in the upcoming NBA season.
Can Mickael Pietrus maintain his playoff performance heading into the new year?
FACT: Mickael Pietrus has shown flashes of brilliance throughout his young career, first with the Golden State Warriors, and now with the Orlando Magic. When Pietrus isn't battling bouts of inconsistency or dealing with injuries, he can be a useful player coming off the bench for a team. Look no further than during the 2009 NBA Playoffs, as Pietrus became an x-factor off the bench for the Magic during the squad's run to the Finals and began to earn some of the full Mid-Level Exception he received during the off-season last year. Pietrus made his presence felt and Orlando benefited when it mattered the most.
FICTION: However, there's a reason why the FACT portion of the write-up is short.
Pietrus played out of his mind, offensively, in the postseason. Granted, Pietrus was finally healthy since the start of the regular season and that certainly aided in his ability to perform more to his potential, but even then, his numbers were staggering.
|2009 regular season||TS% (53.8%)||eFG% (50.7%)||USG% (18.4%)||ORtg (106)|
|2009 postseason||TS% (62.2%)||eFG% (58.9%)||USG% (17.6%)||ORtg (117)|
It's impossible for Pietrus to continue to shoot that efficiently in the upcoming season. As has been stated for Jameer Nelson before, Pietrus will surely regress to the mean but the question is, what will his statistics look like? Well, Pietrus' percentages have been declining the last three seasons but he should see an uptick in his numbers for this year. It's tough to predict what Pietrus' stats will be but it doesn't seem too outlandish to suggest he could revert back to somewhere around his 2006-2007 form with the Warriors, when his eFG% (56.7%) and TS% (59.0%) were above-average. Probably not at those high statistics, but better than his career numbers (somewhere in the middle, I would suspect). The key is his field-goal percentage, which needs to hover around 48%-50% for his advanced shooting percentages to be very good.
|2007 regular season||TS% (59.0%)||eFG% (56.7%)||USG% (17.2%)||ORtg (109)|
|career||TS% (54.5%)||eFG% (51.4%)||USG% (18.7%)||ORtg (105)|
If Pietrus can somewhat replicate his production from '07, there's no reason why he can't be an efficient player. In the end, it comes down to Pietrus not getting hurt much. If Pietrus can stay on the court, convert better around the basket, maintain his current three-point percentage (36%) & free-throw percentage (71%), look out.
Verdict: In a word, no, but it doesn't mean Mickael Pietrus can't play well.
Just not that well over a period of time.
With grateful acknowledgement to 3QC user derekk, who suggested this topic.