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Orlando Magic News for November 20th: Mickael Pietrus Surprises and the Trevor Ariza Trade Disappoints

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Super late news bullets. Thursdays are busy. Mybad.

  • John Hollinger was lukewarm on the Orlando Magic's signing of Mickael Pietrus this summer. So now that Pietrus is playing well, Hollinger named him one of the 15 biggest surprises so far in this NBA season:

    [H]e's been exceptional. Pietrus is hitting 45.2 percent of his 3s, and although that success rate might not last, his ability to drive to the basket with conviction is something he showed little of in Golden State. Pietrus is averaging 21.6 points per 40 minutes with a gaudy 65.4 true shooting percentage -- not bad for a guy brought in primarily to be a defensive stopper.

    But it's not all good news for the Magic in Hollinger's piece. Noted Magic-killer Tayshaun Prince also made the cut, as did the Cleveland Cavaliers' offense. The Magic will have to overcome both those obstacles if they hope to make a deep playoff run this season. Good luck with that.

  • To mark the one-year anniversary of the Magic's trading Trevor Ariza to the L.A. Lakers for Maurice Evans and Brian Cook, Orlando Magic Blog examines its implications.

  • I caught a bit of heat the other day when I referred to Jameer Nelson as a "budding star," so this John Denton post seems particularly relevant. Denton wonders if Nelson is the Magic's "X-Factor" this season. I wouldn't rule it out.

  • Brian Schmitz has a few odd news and notes, including that Jameer Nelson's former personal chef, whom he recently fired, called the Orlando Sentinel offering information. What. The. Eff.

  • More seriously, Schmitz reports that Stan Van Gundy won't comment on whether or not J.J. Redick will be in the rotation tomorrow night against Indiana.

GameThread tomorrow. Flying under the radar until then.