2009-2010 Player Evaluation: Mickael Pietrus | Magic Basketball



Jun 09

2009-2010 Player Evaluation: Mickael Pietrus


Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images

Synergy-fueled player evaluations, with the help of other metrics, are always fun.

Today, the small forwards.

2009-2010 regular season Mickael Pietrus
Games Played 75
Minutes Played 22.5
adj. +/- -9.32
net +/- -7.2
statistical +/- -0.36
PER 11.9
WARP -0.1
Win Shares/48 .103

Mickael Pietrus, or “Planet Pietrus” as he eloquently likes to refer himself as, had a ho-hum season. Pietrus began the year as the starting small forward for the Orlando Magic, more by default than anything else given that Matt Barnes was new to the team. However, once it became clear that the Magic needed a role player that would bring consistent energy and effort with the starting unit, Pietrus went back to coming off the bench and playing in a role that better served him. “Three-and-D” is what Pietrus has always brought to the table for Orlando, and that was the case yet again this season.

Perhaps the best thing that can be said about Pietrus, other than make note of his goofy and engaging personality that has endeared himself to Magic fans, was that he was able to stay healthy the entire year. Yes, Pietrus did have to deal with some ankle problems here and there. But other than that, Pietrus played with a clean bill of health and played the most games in a regular season in his career.

Via Synergy Sports Technology:

2009-2010 regular season Time Poss. PPP* Rank Rating
OVERALL OFFENSE 100% 656 0.99 76% Very Good
Spot-Up 44.8% 294 1.07 79% Very Good
Transition 18.4% 121 1.13 45% Average
P&R Ball Handler 11.3% 74 1.05 96% Excellent
Isolation 5% 33 0.85 55% Good

.555 .540 7.4 4.7 10.5 18.0 106

If there’s one thing that Pietrus can do real well for the Magic, and it’s an important skill to have since it’s something head coach Stan Van Gundy values very much with his perimeter players, is the fact that he can shoot threes very well. Pietrus will wow the crowd occasionally with his aggressive forays at the rim, especially in the pick and roll in which he was surprisingly efficient in this year. Yet, when Pietrus has it going with the three-point shot, it appears to energize him and he feeds off of that. In fact, it’s something Van Gundy has noticed about Pietrus — he seems to dictate how good or bad he plays on both ends of the court when his shot is falling. All in all, when Pietrus has it going offensively, his swagger is off the charts and he plays with a pep to his step.

Don’t expect him to pass the basketball, though.

Via Synergy Sports Technology:

2009-2010 regular season Time Poss. PPP* Rank Rating
OVERALL DEFENSE 100% 549 0.89 52% Good
Isolation 26.4% 145 0.83 55% Good
Spot-Up 23.3% 128 1.02 38% Average
P&R Ball Handler 22% 121 0.84 43% Average
Off Screen 11.3% 62 1.05 18% Below Average

net def. +/- dMULT opp. PER TRB% STL% BLK%
+0.70 0.964 16.2 (vs. SF’s) 7.4 1.6 1.4

… which segues nicely to Pietrus’ defense, which is good. When Pietrus’ mind and body is right, there’s no question that he is Orlando’s best perimeter defender. Some might inaccurately regard Barnes as the Magic’s defensive wizard on the wings against the likes of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, and other prolific scorers in the NBA, but he doesn’t necessarily have the physical tools that Pietrus has. Pietrus can really be a relentless defender but again, too many times he’ll let his offense dictate his defense and that tends to be a problem.

Don’t get it twisted, though. Pietrus values his defense and knows that’s where he’s going to make his mark with Orlando. Pietrus has mentioned many times how he’d like to be on the All-Defensive First Team and even if that might be an unrealistic goal for him, given how many elite wing defenders there are in the league, it shows he cares about defense. That’s something should be admired about Pietrus, given his quirks as a player. Ultimately with Pietrus, when he’s engaged, he can be a physical and aggressive defender.

Closing thoughts
It was an underwhelming year for Pietrus, aside from his ability to stay on the floor and mostly avoid the injury bug. In fact, from a production standpoint, 2009 and 2010 offered similar regular seasons from Pietrus. The only reason why people ignored his disappointing regular season last year was that Pietrus emerged as a standout playoff performer for the Magic during their Finals run.

The same wasn’t the case this time around. Sure, Pietrus had his moments in the first two rounds of the 2010 NBA Playoffs and if looking strictly at his postseason splits compared to 2009, his numbers across the board were superior. Yet at the end of the day, it just didn’t seem like Pietrus made the same kind of impact he did in the playoffs this year as he did last year … especially in the 2010 NBA Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics. In that series, even though Pietrus performed well in limited minutes, he seemed more like an afterthought than a factor. The main difference, if trying to pinpoint one reason, was that Pietrus didn’t make as much of a defensive impact.

In the grand scheme of things, his performance in the Conference Finals was one of the lone differences for Pietrus from last season to this season.

*points per possession

Grade: C+

Billy (slickw143)
Billy (slickw143)

Aren't the sketchy decision-making and dumb turnovers part of what makes him such a perfect fit for the Magic though?

I kid.

Eddy Rivera
Eddy Rivera


Yeah, Pietrus' tiny regression defensively is what stood out to me.

@just passing

Pietrus has his faults, sure, but there's no doubt that he's the ideal wing player for the Magic. Not sure if the sketchy decision-making or the dumb turnovers will go away, though ... that's just what Pietrus does.

just passing
just passing

Eddy has a good point about his lack of passing too.


If MP does that out of bounds or a dumb TO in a game that's not close (Magic winning big) it always gives me a good laugh. Hehe

just passing
just passing

I agree that he fits great in this team. As for the TOs, I really can't understand how a player can make the same mistake over and over and over (walking on the first trible or stepping on the line) but even when he does he'll go down next time make a three or a good defensive play to help you forget about it.


But even given his trademark silly mistakes, he's the perfect wing to have, "Threes-and-D" is the most fundamental type of wing player to glue with the rest of the team. If he can't shoot as an offensive option, or let's the best opposing players get what they want easily, he's not perfect in the most classic sense. MP just needs a recommitment defense bc he's shown he can really be All Team first D, just not consistently.

just passing
just passing

When MP said early in the year that his goal was to be All Defensive, I believed him. Well, I hope he'll step up next year (even in the reg season) with better descision making and less TOs.


I'll agree with the C+ bc I think MP took a minor step back in defense, which shouldve been his best thing. Otherwise, I thought he played good overall. He should focus on defensive drills or practice guarding VC/Jameer.