Schmitz: Injuries Hobble Orlando Magic Forwards Matt Barnes and Mickael Pietrus

Brian Schmitz brings us up to speed on injuries to Orlando Magic small forwards Mickael Pietrus and Matt Barnes:

Barnes already has missed one game, and now he realizes he'll need to play even more minutes with his back-up, Mickael Pietrus, likely out for a week because of a sprained ankle.

"That's a big factor for me with MP out," Barnes said after the Magic's overtime win Thursday night in Miami against the Heat, which followed up their victory Wednesday against San Antonio.

Coach Stan Van Gundy called Barnes' situation "a problem for us" before the game.

Barnes has dealt with the toe problem since undergoing surgery when he played at UCLA. He arrived early for the game against the Heat at American Airlines Arena to warm up.

The Magic had pretty decent luck with regard to injuries lately, but having both small forwards hobbled as the team heads into the playoffs is a bit of a buzzkill. Pietrus and Barnes are never more than the fourth option on offense, but are the team's best perimeter defenders. They've both suffered injuries that could compromise their lateral mobility if they don't heal quickly enough.

With Pietrus out, expect Rashard Lewis and Vince Carter to spend more time at small forward. And, uh, expect a drop-off in defense at that position. Pietrus is one of the league's best there.

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