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Tracy McGrady’s fit with the Detroit Pistons remains an interesting storyline

There was no bigger cheerleader for the Tracy McGrady signing than yours truly. Two moments will make me forever love T-Mac.

This:

And this:

But even with that in mind, I’m not exactly sure how he fits in with the Pistons, and I’m even less sure after Media Day.

First, here’s what McGrady said when discussing his new teammates:

“This is my first time I’ve seen them, so we really haven’t talked too much.”

It’s understandable that McGrady has had things to take care of like finding a place to live, rehabbing his injury, etc. But I guess I just assumed that McGrady would’ve been in contact with some of the players, particularly veteran leaders like Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince, before signing. I guess that wasn’t necessarily the case.

As for the other wing players who spoke, none said anything controversial about adding McGrady to the team, but the tone seemed a lot more tempered than would be expected after bringing in a guy with T-Mac’s resumé.

From Ben Gordon, who had the most to say specific to McGrady:

If Tracy can just come back and play like he’s played in the past, he’ll help tremendously. People tend to forget (because of his injuries the last few seasons), that when he’s healthy, he was one of probably the top five players at one point. I hope we get a healthy Tracy back and if we do, the rest will speak for itself.

From Rodney Stuckey:

I’m excited (to play with McGrady), but I’m excited to play with everyone. I’m excited that everyone’s back on this team. Injuries were a big deal for us last year. Hopefully we just start off the season well, injury-free.

From Hamilton:

We’ve got a lot of pieces to the puzzle. The more scorers we’ll have, the better we’ll be.

I don’t think any of the players view the McGrady signing as a bad thing, but I think he could also be looked at as a threat. If he’s healthy, he’s one of the biggest stars in the NBA, even if he’s no longer one of the game’s top players. It would be really hard to keep him out of the lineup.

For his part, McGrady repeatedly referred to himself as an unselfish player who will have no problem working with the team’s other top offensive options.

I do think McGrady has been a good and willing passer in his career, he’s just often played on teams with little or no offensive talent, so he’s had to shoot more to give his team the best chance to win. His adjustment to playing on a team in Detroit that, if healthy, could have an array of weapons on offense will be one of the more interesting things to watch this season.

7 Comments

  • Sep 28, 20102:02 pm
    by Ex-Rocket-Fan

    Reply

    Former Rockets fan here, now a McGrady nuthugger  :D  ….
    McGrady is both unselfish, and selfish.
    Unselfish:
    When he has the ball in his hands, he is very unselfish.  He will find you if you’re open.  His court vision and passing ability is second to none, except maybe Steve Nash.
    His on-ball defense is good, so in that regard he is unselfish.
     
    Selfish:
    When he doesn’t have the ball, he loafs.  He rarely makes cuts.  He rarely hustles for offensive rebounds.
    His off the ball defense is the same–lazy.  Off the ball, he’ll watch the ball and lose track of his man and get burned by backdoor cuts as a result.  He rarely boxes out, often giving up offensive boards to the guy he failed to box out.  Sometimes he doesn’t bother for defensive boards unless the ball comes to him, or unless it’s at a crucial moment in the game.
    So he’s a mixed bag.  Just my $0.02   :)

  • Sep 28, 20103:13 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Ex-Rocket-Fan:
    That actually sounds like it could be good news for Detroit. They have no one who’s close to an elite playmaker, but a bunch of guys who can move without the ball and get open. I’m hoping that’s how things play out — McGrady in a kind of point-forward type role.

  • Sep 28, 20103:32 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    tayshaun was my favorite:
    Q: what do you think about bringing in tracy mcgrady?
     
    A: …well, i heard about it and i spoke with joe and blah blah blah… it was great. he didn’t even pretend to be even a little optimistic about it. god bless you, tayshaun.

  • Sep 28, 20109:09 pm
    by Leroy Smith

    Reply

    The more scoers the better?  What about defense, Rip?  When Rodman was traded for Chris Mills back in the day people said the same thing.  Mills was a 17-18 point a night guy, while Rodman was a non-scorer.  Be careful what you ask for.

  • Sep 29, 20101:23 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    also “the more scorers the better” isn’t true when they all play the same position. sounds like a recipe for NOT ENOUGH minutes or shots to go around.

  • Sep 29, 20104:36 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Leroy:

    I think you mean Sean Elliot?

    I think the point was getting at was that no matter which guys on the Pistons ultimately get minutes, they will be guys who can score the ball.

  • Sep 29, 20104:37 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Laser:

    It was more Rip commenting on being able to use them all interchangeably — I.E. whether it’s him, Gordon or T-Mac at the two, the Pistons are going to get points from that position. I don’t think he was advocating playing five shooting guards at the same time, although Don Nelson might be intrigued by that idea. I hear he’s available …

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