It’s not that Tracy McGrady hasn’t been involved in losses for the San Antonio Spurs, but it’s quite clear to see that the playoff curse that engulfed and partially defined his NBA career for over a decade is gone, and while not being anything close to a major factor, the potential future hall of fame player is just happy being around a winning team.
McGrady, signed right before the postseason by the Spurs to give them a little bit of experience and insurance in case one of their guards on a team known to not have everyone at 100% during this late stage of the season breaks down, has played in four games, three of them wins.
He stepped on the court for the first time in Spurs uniform in the clinching win against the Lakers (103-82) in the first round series, as the Spurs were about to complete a sweep. McGrady only takes the court at the end of games, and got five minutes on that moment, failing to score (he actually hasn’t scored a single point so far for the Spurs) on his one field goal attempt, adding an assist and a steal and some passionate defense when it didn’t really matter.
He appeared again with 52 seconds left in the 100-91 loss to the Golden State Warriors in game of the conference semifinal series, not even getting a chance to put up a shot, adding one steal to his resume. He appeared again as the Spurs had their biggest win of the series, beating the Warriors 109-91 to take the lead again (3-2), McGrady getting almost four minutes of garbage time, not scoring (0-1 from the field) but getting 2 blocks, a rebound and an assist.
His final appearance, so far, was in game 1 of the conference finals, the only one between the Spurs and the Grizzlies that didn’t take all four quarters (and possibly overtime) to decide, as McGrady got nearly 7 minutes in the 105-83 win, missing two three point attempts and adding two rebounds.
Good luck charm? He’s sharing his time between towel waiving, jumping on Tim Duncan’s back and getting some quality basketball time, and he’s probably pretty happy. McGrady couldn’t have expected anymore after his season in China ended, and he seems to have made the right choice by picking the winning horse so far, getting a little bit of rest (maybe too much?) before the NBA finals begin, in which he hopes the Spurs get some blowout wins (and maybe get blown out here and there) so he can get some more time on the court.