Q: “Why do you think Pietrus has become such a non-factor in games? Or am I missing his contributions? Particularly over this final push, I don’t get the sense that he comes into games and makes a difference. With his athleticism and energy and years in the league, I’m disappointed. I’m wondering if the open game Nellie plays hurts him because of his limited decision-making skills.” — Jim
A: I think it does have something to do with his inability to create for others (or for himself), and his relatively low basketball IQ (How many times is he going to get called for traveling on that jab step?). I think earlier in the year, when athleticism was scarce, Pietrus was needed (the Warriors had Dunleavy and a hobbled Richardson on the perimeter). Now that the Warriors are fine in the athleticism department, now that Richardson and Jackson are providing offense and defense, Pietrus’ significance decreases. When he’s knocking down his 3 and focusing on defense, he is valuable. But with Jackson, Richardson and Barnes playing small forward, if Pietrus isn’t providing, Nellie has options. They don’t NEED Pietrus. They can use him when he’s on, but when he’s not, they’ll be fine. That wasn’t the case in November and December.