Those of you who enjoyed the chippiness and minor confrontations in the first game of the Heat-Celtics series should get to see plenty more of that as the series progresses. These two teams genuinely dislike each other, and the events leading to the Paul Pierce ejection were likely only the beginning.
In the Grizzlies-Thunder series, the Thunder will try to find an answer for Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, who combined for 54 points and 23 rebounds in game 1. Oklahoma City will need some of that defense Kendrick Perkins was supposed to bring to avoid going down 2-0 at home.
Boston at Miami, 4PM PDT, TNT. Heat lead series 1-0
Memphis at Oklahoma City, 6:30PM PDT, TNT. Grizzlies lead series 1-0.
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:
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 (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
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.
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.
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.
Atlanta at Chicago, 5PM PDT, TNT
Dallas at LA Lakers, 7:30PM PDT, TNT