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The Big Question: Tracy McGrady

With a cloud uncertainty thunder-storming, snowing and hailing on the Detroit Pistons, we wanted our Pistons preview series to capture that. So for each Piston, Patrick Hayes and I will identify and explain what we each see as the biggest question surrounding him entering the season.

DF: Will Arnie Kander produce another miracle?

Because of reclamations like Dana Barros and Antonio McDyess, everyone considers Arnie Kander a genius. It’s not necessarily out of line. He has a great track record. For years, I’ve called Kander the most underrated aspect of the organization. His ability to keep the team healthy over the years has meant countless wins, especially in the playoffs. But were last year’s injuries a sign Kander isn’t as great as he seems? Has the hype finally surpassed the substance? Or did chance fall so far on the negative side that it outweighed Kander?

If Tracy McGrady looks anything like he did in his prime, the legend of Arnie won’t die anytime soon.

PH: Will the Detroit Pistons ruin another icon?

After he was traded to Detroit, Allen Iverson went from one of the league’s most popular players to a guy who couldn’t beat Mike Conley for a starting job in Memphis. Now, another 2000s alpha dog icon in the twilight of his career finds himself on the Pistons. I don’t know what McGrady will produce. I just hope that his career is not going to end embarrassingly in Detroit the way Iverson’s did. Whatever you think of either of them personally, they are two of the most brilliant players of this era and deserved to be remembered for that. I don’t know what to expect from T-Mac. I just hope he’s still a solid player.

9 Comments

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  • Oct 14, 201012:47 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    the only questions that matter when it comes to t-mac relate to what he can offer the team, and so far “nothing” is looking like a virtual lock. not with six perimeter players who would do better with his minutes.
     
    hayes said that some of these questions were written some time ago, but in the interest of productive discussion and keeping things relevant maybe it would be better to present current questions. the fact that t-mac played eight minutes and was promptly shut down for the preseason is about the worst sign i can think of for his future in the NBA. all we heard before the exhibition season started was how he was at full strength and his knee felt great. then “tired legs.” right. so no matter what kander’s doing with the guy (and kander’s mojo has lost some of its luster over the past few seasons), i don’t see this going well.
     
    seven is too many for a perimeter rotation. one of the few “benefits” of jerebko’s injury is a shortening of the frontcourt rotation, alleviating a potentially difficult situation for kuester (if wilcox is as good as advertised this season, who goes inactive?). so we’ve got five men firmly in the mix up front. if charlie v and monroe weren’t prone to foul trouble that would make amir johnson blush, we could probably get by with four. anyhow, from there you just can’t add seven perimeter guys and run out a 12 man rotation. it just won’t work. combinations are going to be enough of a problem for an inexperienced coach without having to work absolutely everyone into the mix. in almost every case a good rotation has 9 guys getting consistent minutes in consistent roles, with one or two role players on the periphery.
     
    as for hayes, this is one of the areas where you make me roll my eyes. i don’t give a damn about tracy mcgrady or his legacy, and you shouldn’t either. you have some bizarre biases going on if you sincerely think the pistons ruined iverson. he was here for less than a year, and it didn’t work out. he didn’t fit in, he created problems, we did everything humanly possible to make it work. and to top it off, HE GOT A CHANCE LAST SEASON! two (2) chances, even. and he failed both times. failed for the grizz, and failed for the sixers after promising to accept any role and do whatever it took to win (hm. sound familiar?). in what way did detroit ruin iverson?? some people just love to make excuses and point the finger at everyone but iverson. but iverson himself has an excuse. he’s himself, after all. people like you have no excuse and look ridiculous defending that guy. he had a great career, and then he declined. detroit would have been a blip on the radar if the things that brought him down had ANYTHING to do with detroit.
     
    same thing with t-mac. NOBODY wanted him detroit is giving him a chance for some reason. obviously joe dumars has a boner for these guys (hm. sound familiar?) and has quite possibly lost his mind, falling back on 27 losses as an excuse to try “anything,” even if it’s subtraction by addition. nobody wanted t-mac. dumars is giving him a chance. no matter what happens this season, just like iverson, t-mac will BRING IT ON HIMSELF. he called joe and asked for a contract to join the most overcrowded backcourt in NBA history. he started on the second team in the open practice scrimmage and was the first SF off the bench in the only preseason game he played, ahead of the young and promising and developing and hungry austin daye. and we all know about dumars’s boner, so he’ll get his chances. what he does with them is on him. ’nuff said.

  • Oct 14, 20101:41 pm
    by nuetes

    Reply

    I still need someone to explain to me why Mcgrady is on the team, or even better, because this truly is unexplainable – why he’ll be on the team when the season starts? I’m stumped. I can’t figure it out, and this sole thing is quite possibly the most frustrating thing about the entire team right now. And if nobody has noticed there are quite a few things to be frustrated about concerning the current team. Now that he’s being held out of the preseason I’m even more confused. It makes me want to go kick down Dumars door and ask him what he could possibly be thinking. Daye is making T-Mac more useless by the day, of course that assumes T-Mac had any use in the first place. He ruined his own career. If he truly was a competitor or had anything left he would demand to play in the preseason. But honestly I don’t care what he has left. I could care less if he made a deal with the devil. I don’t want to watch him. I want to watch Daye.
     
    As for AI I have no idea what happened. I can all but guarantee had he stayed in Denver he was going to have a productive season, by his standards. He maybe lost something but he was coming off a 26/8 season. That’s not paltry by anyone’s standards. I’m going to guess it was a combination of a bunch of things. Not being comfortable playing a team game and having to defer in situations. He was always in a situation where he was allowed to be himself. That’s sorta seemed to be the Pistons problem lately. Trying to turn players into things they are not. Also the Detroit casinos didn’t do Iverson any favors. And he did have some minor injuries, or faked them to get out of a less than perfect situation for him. That backfired in the end, but he still had injuries in Memphis and Philly that held him back. Kinda sad, but it might just have been his time. His body wasn’t holding up, and his extracurricular activities weren’t helping him sustain it.

  • Oct 14, 20102:17 pm
    by brgulker

    Reply

    PH: Will the Detroit Pistons ruin another icon?


    When was the first time the Pistons ruined an icon?

  • Oct 14, 20102:29 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @brgulker:
    Haha. That’s a bit hyperbolic on my part, I admit. Basically, I’m getting at the fact that it’s likely that the last sad days of a once-iconic (whether you like them or not, AI and T-Mac were two of the most popular players in the league and worldwide in the 2000s) McGrady are going to be lived out in Detroit, just like with the shell of Allen Iverson that passed through here.

  • Oct 14, 20107:27 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    hayes, just don’t blame detroit. t-mac called joe begging for a job when nobody else wanted him. against all logic and sanity, joe gave him a chance.
     
    as for iverson, he just didn’t fit. 26/8 looks a little worse when you consider the tempo, the amount of time iverson dominated the ball, the shooting % and the overall success of the team. and his defense has always been NON-EXISTENT, so you sure as hell better put up 30 points and dish out some assists to make up for all the scoring you allow. bottom line is that iverson’s career wasn’t ruined here. memphis gave him a shot, philly did the same. he’s just no use to anyone anymore.

  • Oct 14, 201010:36 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    It’s not that I’m blaming Detroit. I just don’t want Detroit to be the place where decaying shells of former stars go to die. I’m hoping against all logic that McGrady doesn’t become the second guy to fall off the face of the earth post-Pistons career.

  • Oct 14, 201011:03 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    address all concerns to joe dumars, who has a boner for anyone who ever sold a bunch of jerseys in the nineties. regardless of how they play, if a non-basketball fans have heard of them they’re welcome here.

  • Oct 14, 201011:03 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    …and they can have chauncey’s number!

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