He isn’t going to get any meaningful minutes as his NBA career winds down with the prospect of winning a championship, but Tracy McGrady would at least like to score one point before he retires, hoping that at some point of his garbage time basketball for the San Antonio Spurs he’ll get on the scoreboard.
McGrady doesn’t play with the game on the line. In the six games he’s played in so far for the Spurs in the 2013 playoffs (playing in China during the regular season), five of them ended in a 18 point margin or more, with the sixth, in a nine point loss to the Golden State Warriors, McGrady got to play for 52 seconds when all hope was lost.
But to hear the Spurs crowd react whenever they see Popovich giving him the order to step in, you’d think he’s one of the most important players the Spurs currently have on their roster. You forget this is a guy who has taken seven shots in 30 minutes of basketball so far this postseason, missing all 7 attempts.
In fact, when McGrady is on the floor, usually with Matt Bonner, Cory Joseph, Patty Mills and DeJuan Blair, he hardly even steps in a place you can take a two point shot. He doesn’t have the speed or the first step to get by anyone, so he simply stands at the top of the arc, spreading the ball around, and sometimes shooting threes, most of them going a bit long, usually causing a gigantic and disappointing awe moment among the AT&T faithful.
His over numbers? 1.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and that’s about it. And this is a guy who might be headed to the hall of fame. Gregg Popovich did him a favor, just like Bill Belichick took Tim Tebow along for a ride that might end up with a Super Bowl Tebow has nothing to do with.
If you’d ask McGrady, or anyone, what he’d prefer to happen to him in the few remaining games before he announces his retirement, it’s quite obvious he’d take the NBA title even if it doesn’t come with any points, but for such a great player to go out being unable to score even once during the first postseason he was involved in winning a series would be a shame, and make the ending a little less than perfect.