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Sox Appeal
12-20-2008, 07:37 AM
Source: http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20081219/SPORTS16/812190333/1002/SPORTS


Most of his Orlando Magic teammates were already long gone Thursday morning when Mickael Pietrus still was on the court sprinting, shooting, sweating and working out with assistant coaches.

Out of action the past 10 games with a torn ulna collateral ligament in his right thumb, Pietrus is trying to get in all the extra work that he can in hopes of returning Saturday when the Magic host the Los Angeles Lakers. Pietrus returned to practice Wednesday, but was held out of Thursday's game as he works to improve his conditioning.

Orlando signed Pietrus to a five-year, $23 million free-agent contract in the offseason with the intention of having him guard players like L.A.'s Kobe Bryant. Pietrus' role in the Magic's defense has been a work in progress, but he surprised Orlando with his shooting (47.5 percent overall, 36.5 percent from 3-point range and 84.8 percent from the free throw line) and scoring (12.9 ppg.) before injuring his thumb.

"If I feel ready, I might go on Saturday," Pietrus said. "But it takes time when you haven't played in three weeks to get back in basketball shape and the team's level. I'm gonna work hard to make sure that when I get back on the floor. I'm ready to help the team."

Gortat's improving.

Despite not having injured center Dwight Howard in its previous two games, Orlando still defeated Utah and Golden State thanks to the rapidly improving play of second-year center Marcin Gortat.

The 6-foot-11, 240-pound center from Poland had a career game against the Warriors with 16 points and 13 rebounds, softening the blow of losing Howard to a sore knee.

"It was 100 percent like Dwight, but it wasn't too bad," Gortat joked.

Gortat has worked hard to enhance his body and improve his skills, especially his mid-range shooting touch. He said he was ready to fill in for Howard because of the intense preparation that he's put in while drilling daily with Magic assistant coach Brendan Malone.

"Last year, I was in a suit sitting on the second row of the bench. Then, it was a different world actually suiting up and getting some playing time," Gortat said. "But it's a third world actually playing and starting. I've tried to stay mentally and physically focused and ready. I've tried to be the first guy in the gym and the last guy off the floor."

macc
12-29-2008, 11:43 AM
Can anyone tell me why Bogans is getting more min than MP? When MP is in the game he makes things happen. I think SVG is not using him enough. Any other thoughts?

JNore151
12-29-2008, 04:23 PM
svg is doing just fine hes probly getting bogans trade value up or maybe mp isnt 100 percent yet or hes having trouble with the new plays who knows but yo i like mp off da bench he livens things up when he comes in...by the end of the season mp will probly be starting agian....u gotta give stan the reasonable doubt...

macc
12-29-2008, 04:49 PM
Ya I'm hoping you're right. I don't mind Bogans, he has good D and shoots the 3ball well but doesn't drive to the basket much. That is the one thing that is our weak point, we live and die by the 3. When we aren't shooting it well it's nice to have somone like MP in there who slashes to the rim, Courtney Lee does a good job of that as well. In any case I will give SVG the benefit of the doubt, we are winning games. I just think MP should be getting more than 8-15 min per game.

JNore151
12-30-2008, 05:41 PM
looks like mp wasnt 100 percent ...he re-ingured dat thumb ....

macc
12-30-2008, 06:44 PM
looks like mp wasnt 100 percent ...he re-ingured dat thumb ....


Ya I watched that game last night, it was on a nice left handed power dunk to. Hopefully it doesn't keep him out much more than he already has been. I hate to say it but Detroit owns our team. Hopefully that changes in the near future.