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Tracy McGrady will continue to be in the rotation, but might not play much more than 15 minutes per game for a while

Through three games with the Pistons, Tracy McGrady hasn’t embarrassed himself, but he also hasn’t done anything remarkable on the court. He’s actually been kind of hard to notice, scoring just one basket, getting a handful of rebounds and assists and generally, not doing anything to force his way onto the stat sheet by taking poor shots.

His widely reported 15-minute limit makes sense after missing most of the preseason. But what wasn’t widely reported is that his role might not expand much all season beyond those 15 minutes or so per game. From TNT’s David Aldridge:

Pistons coach John Kuester says that McGrady will ultimately be a regular part of the team’s rotation, and Detroit won’t be playing him extended minutes even if he shows physical improvement during the season.

That’s a totally reasonable way to view McGrady as his career winds down. With his passing and perimeter shooting ability, McGrady, if semi-healthy, would be a competent addition to about any bench in the league. But, based on his comment in the same article, I’m not sure McGrady views his role the same way:

“I have a weird body,” McGrady said. “But I feel, now, about 85 percent. We’ll probably go five games at a time, with 15-minute plateaus. And then I’m sure we’ll go up from there.”

Hopefully, the coaches win out on this one. If McGrady is healthy, I don’t mind if he plays. But even if healthy, he’s not going to be better than Tayshaun Prince. The Pistons need Prince to continue playing significant minutes and producing to hopefully attract good offers on the trade market. With Rip Hamilton‘s decline over the last two seasons looking like it’s continuing into this year, Prince is likely the team’s only tradable asset that could fetch a competitive offer in return. I don’t see how McGrady cutting into Prince’s minutes would benefit the team.

7 Comments

  • Nov 1, 20104:39 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    hard to complain about him, since he’s actually been a plus on the floor. he doesn’t look healthy, but it seems like he’s trying to make plays for his teammates. and that’s something we desperately need right now. still, we need to shed a guard or two already. slot daye in at SF where he belongs. i wouldn’t even mind if we traded tayshaun and moved stuckey over to the 3. we’ve got no choice but to play guys out of position right now, and that’s one situation i could live with. heck, stuckey probably makes a better SF than PG.

  • Nov 1, 20106:33 pm
    by Dustin

    Reply

    Its really disappointing… McGrady used to be such a force in the nba and now the pistons or anybody else for that matter dont¬†want to play him for more than 15 min a game. I feel that if a team gave him a legit chance to prove himself again he’d turn out to do even more great things. Its sad it looks like he’s going to be¬†following in the footsteps of allen iverson

  • Nov 1, 20108:06 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Dustin:
    In fairness, McGrady did get a lot of minutes with the Knicks last year after he was traded there midseason, and he didn’t produce much in those minutes.

  • Nov 1, 201011:31 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    uh, i take it from dustin’s comment that he hasn’t watched t-mac play. the guy’s obviously not healthy. he looks almost immobile out there. if he was at full health i’m sure joe would insist he starts and is the focal point of the offense.

  • Nov 1, 201011:42 pm
    by nuetes

    Reply

    I agree T-Mac looks less than 100%. He runs so gingerly. It looks like he thinks about every step he takes while he’s running down the court. As far as playing T-Mac more – if he’s healthy go for it, as long as his minutes come at the expense of Rip.

  • Nov 2, 201012:15 am
    by Detroit Fan78

    Reply

    yea t mac is not what he once was but he dont have to be to be affective after a forth quarter like we had against the bulls i dont see a problem with gettin this guy some more touches and lettin him find his grove

  • Nov 2, 20108:14 am
    by mrwah

    Reply

    pistons couldn’t score t-mac would have help maybe he wouldn’t score but who cares as long as he can find his teammate plus the guy is not 100% and teams dabble him ill give him till the all start game if he is not close to being the t-mac everyone knew its on me

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