Yes, Peaches, to the hoop, man, to the hoop.

Welcome to the sixth piece of the 2010-11 Phoenix Suns Player Evaluations. We here at Bright Side of the Sun have assembled a cast of writers to put together alternative views on the players, front office, and coaches. Your favorite and least favorite Suns will no doubt get plenty of attention, and the compliments or criticism they deserve.

 

From Urban Dictionary:

1. chucker
a. A really bad basketball player.
b. Also, just a plain old idiot, any one who just throws anything in the air and hopes it makes a goal

(White Chocolate!!)

White Chocolate (via fuqua786)

You couldn't blame a Suns fan for rooting for Vince Carter and Mickael Pietrus upon their entrance onto Planet Orange. Most of us had an inkling that Vince was no good and Vinsanity a decaying corpse rotting deep beneath the cold, cold ground. Nonetheless, we fans and Alvin Gentry held on to the delusion that he had something left in the tank to help the Suns make a playoff push. While it took fans only a couple of weeks to realize Carter was finished, Gentry was holding on to the idea of a rotation. Rotations create chemistry and chemistry was needed on a team that had once again reinvented themselves.

Mickael Pietrus was another intriguing player from Orlando. Known for his defense, he was much needed (in theory) to a Suns squad that was and has been lacking D for a couple of decades. Pietrus got a shot in the rotation from the beginning, and had a few games, including a 25 point outing against stiff competition from the LA Clippers. No doubt Pietrus was given the green light by Alvin Gentry as 30+% career three-point shooter. An while Pietrus proved he could score in bunches, he also proved he could miss in bushels.

(Ed note one bushel=35.239072 liters. Thus, bushel>bunches. I don't know how many bunches equal 35 liters. But it's probably a lot.)

 

Aside: One Master of the Obvious Prediction:

As it relates to Mickael Pietrus and the Orlando Magic: The Magic took a major dump in the first round of this season's playoffs. Expect a huge housecleaning, beginning at the top-Otis Smith, GM. Unable to advance past the 1st round of the playoffs with Dwight Howard looks bad. That Rashard Lewis signing a few years back looks really bad. The December trade with the Suns looks bad, and something that caught this author's eye looks bad as well:

Mickael Pietrus, in his contract year for the Golden State Warriors ('07-'08), averaged his 4th lowest ppg total as a professional in 5 years-(7.2), and: Decreased in PER, TS%, eFG%, 3P%, and games played and started compared to his prior season. Nevertheless, he received a $2 million dollar raise from Good ol' Otis and the Magic in the offseason. All to pry a role player away from the lowly Golden State Warriors. Of course the Suns took on MP, but that's a different story.


Into Some Numbers

  • Between Orlando and Phoenix, Pietrus shot 39% from the field and 36% from beyond the arc.
  • His average makes from 3 was right along his career average of 36%,
  • Mickael is a career 43% shooter from the field, yet managed to sink only 39% of his shots between Orlando and PHX last season.
  • In 22 MPG in Orlando he shot 39% behind the arc. in 18.1 MPG in Phoenix he shot 34% behind the arc. Yes he nearly doubled his attempts in Phoenix, so it's logical that his average go down. Still...

Abandoning the Numbers-And the Excuses

The Suns would not be broken-hearted if Pietrus declines his $5.3 million option for next season, but Pietrus said he wants to return.    -Paul Coro

The bottom line is that Pietrus is just another role player on the Suns among a glut of them. Who deserves the chance? Who didn't get the playing time they deserved or who could have benefited the most from a full season with the team? MP is valuable in that he can play defense and he can get hot from time to time. Yet like many shoot first players, Peaches fell in love with the 3 to the point where green light equalled stupid light. Pump fake, go to the hoop pal, hit your man Gortat down below slashing to the hoop, talk to Jared Dudley it can be done. And for God sakes, don't  F with the Lopez.

We can make the excuse for Pietrus that he came in mid-season, didn't mesh and all that, but I'm not buying it. It didn't take the Polish Hammer a whole off-season to figure things out. Further, there may not even be a real off season if the skies continue to darken among the CBA and lockout situations.  And what's the guy going to pick up in the pre-season: "Stop shooting stupid shots?" Maybe.

The problem with Mickael Pietrus echoes the problem of 75% of the Phoenix Suns roster. There are many pieces, but no matter how you shift them around some of them are still not going to fit. MP just might be the jigsaw piece from the idealic-home-in-the-French-countryside that accidentally got tossed into the Golden Retriever-puppies-in-a basket box. It just may not fit.

Poll
Is Mickael Pietrus a Hopeless Chucker Who Needs to be Sent Away, or a Rotational Player for the '11-'12 Suns?

  430 votes | Results


Yet Another Mock Draft

Ask yourselves, Suns fans: "Do you want a guy named Tristian on your squad?"


The second round continues tonight as the Hawks try to extend their playoff run after surprising the Magic in round one. They travel to Chicago to face the Bulls in tonight's early game. Later, the Mavericks visit LA to take on the Lakers, kicking off a series featuring aging teams who might soon be watching their championship windows close.

Notes:

The folks at Blog a Bull are brimming with confidence that the Bulls shouldn't have much trouble defeating the Hawks. That Kirk Hinrich might miss the series with his strained hamstring gives reason for confidence.

LJ Rotter at Mavs Moneyball notes that the matchup between Dirk Nowitzki and Pau Gasol will loom large in the Mavs-Lakers series.


Atlanta at Chicago, 5PM PDT, TNT

Dallas at LA Lakers, 7:30PM PDT, TNT

GO!


The second round continues tonight as the Hawks try to extend their playoff run after surprising the Magic in round one. They travel to Chicago to face the Bulls in tonight's early game. Later, the Mavericks visit LA to take on the Lakers, kicking off a series featuring aging teams who might soon be watching their championship windows close.

Notes:

The folks at Blog a Bull are brimming with confidence that the Bulls shouldn't have much trouble defeating the Hawks. That Kirk Hinrich might miss the series with his strained hamstring gives reason for confidence.

LJ Rotter at Mavs Moneyball notes that the matchup between Dirk Nowitzki and Pau Gasol will loom large in the Mavs-Lakers series.


Atlanta at Chicago, 5PM PDT, TNT

Dallas at LA Lakers, 7:30PM PDT, TNT

GO!


I like it.  I love it.  I want some more of it.  (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Rob Schumacher)

 

Welcome to the sixth piece of the 2010-11 Phoenix Suns Player Evaluations. We here at Bright Side of the Sun have assembled somewhat of an All-Star cast of writers to put together alternative views on the players, front office, and coaches. Your favorite and least favorite Suns will no doubt get plenty of attention, and the compliments or criticism they deserve.

You guys are like my family.  We laugh together, we fight, we celebrate, we share good times and bad times and sometimes we all have to get away from each other and take a short break... but you and I, we always come back.  Being such a tight nitted family of fanatics and sports perusers alike that we are - I will hold back no secrets...


My favorite number is 12.


So by default - I have to root for and support any Suns player sporting the number 12.  This time around the number is dressed neatly on the back of one lovable, huggable, easy to love - easy to hate French crepe named Mickael Pietrus

Join me (or bear with me) as we take a short look at the short season that 'Peaches' had with the Suns after being traded along with Vince Carter and Marcin Gortat mid-season for Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu and the enigmatic Earl Clark.

The Elephant in the Room

Let's get this out of the way first.   As things go round in the NBA as a business - Mickael Pietrus has a player option for the 2011/12 season.   What does that mean?  That means the team can't cut him like they will inevitably do with the dead weight that is Vince Carter.   In all reality, Pietrus will be back next year as a member of the Phoenix Suns - it would be stupid for him not to pick up his player option especially after such a personally unspectacular year playing ball. In fact - I have it on authority from one of my good sources... that Pietrus will do just that. 

Now I know there are a whole slew of folks ready to jump on my boy Pietrus... Towards the end of the year his inability to curb his emotion in certain (and limited) situations somehow earned him a spot in Alvin Gentry's dog house - that, coupled with a possibly significant quadricep tendon-strain injury knocked Pietrus out of the rotation and landed him a soft-chair seat on the bench for the remainder of the season.

Here are my arguments as to why we can look forward to watching Phoenix Suns #12 in 2011/12. 

Playing Time Say What?

So I know you all have been avidly following these player evaluation pieces, so when I reference them they should be fresh in your minds.  You remember the two pro and con peices on Josh Childress?  Yeah, both of them agreed that Josh Childress didn't quite play enough time last season to be adequately evaluated and that his ultimate judgement should be taken with a grain of salt.  

Well guess what.  Josh Childress played a total of 894 minutes last year for the Suns.  Peitrus?  A whopping 689 minutes.

Can you honestly say that we can fairly evaluate what Pietrus can do for this team?  Especially since he was traded for the first time in his career... and mid-season no-less?   I like what Pietrus had to say about that when the Suns season was regretfully over,

"I like it here," Pietrus said. "It was just different for me. I had to adjust during a short period of time. I'd never been traded. Training camp will help so the coaches can get to know me as a player, and I can get to know my teammates. It's not easy to get to know a player when you're chasing the eighth (playoff) spot. Next season, I'll have time to be part of the family."

If we're going to give Josh Childress the slack of a 'wait and see' judgement I think Pietrus deserves one even more for the fact that he wasn't here for training camp and especially since just like Childress, Pietrus was a key impact player for us at times when he did see the court for playing time.

Impacto Man

Pietrus?  Yeah he can defend.  He's got long arms.  He can elevate and block shots.


He can elevate and absolutely disturb shots.


 He can get in your face and get physical.

Tumblr_lfspoo1zps1qfqac1_medium

He can drain threes.. and brick them sometimes.  He can dunk.  He can fast-break.  He can post-up.  He can cut and slash.  

The fact is - Pietrus is an energy player whose consistency is absolutely variable.  That's the downside - but guess what?  With Jared Dudley making the move to possibly locking up a starting position, the bench needs a player who can come in and impact the game right away with hustle defense and heart stabbing three's.  I think Pietrus can be that guy.  

The Final Verdict

Did he have an off year?  I think he absolutely did - he was traded mid-season, shot under 40% from the field for the first time in his career, never completely learned the Suns Offense or Defense and then got injured right when he was starting to see consistent minutes.   It was an off year indeed.

 

I'm giving Mickael Pietrus a school grade of an Incomplete.   I want to see what Pietrus can do with a full training camp under his belt and with a defined role coming off the bench.  Maybe it frustrates a lot of us when he's jacking up rediculous fade-away threes... but guess what, that's what he does and sometimes he can't miss (Hombre en Fuego), and other-times he can't hit even the rim.  But that's what you get when you have a streaky role player who can impact the game, either he's on and he's all over the place defending and making shots - or he's all over the place taking poor shots and getting down on himself defensively.  That's what winning team's need - impact players coming off the bench.

Plus - he's one of the funniest guys the Suns have ever had come through the organization.  I may have extrememly  disliked Boris Diaw for his flaws - but I'm willing to give this Frenchman a chance.  Will you?

 

 



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