Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012 at 9:20 am  |  24 responses

Tracy McGrady: ‘I Haven’t Felt This Good in a Long Time’

T-Mac stepped into a time machine last night in Miami, helping the Atlanta Hawks to hand the Heat its first loss of the season. McGrady says he feels great physically. From the AJC: “After a bad start, the Hawks settled down behind a zone defense and better shot selection. Tracy McGrady delivered the finishing blows. ‘It feels good,’ McGrady said. ‘It’s been a long time since I’ve had that feeling. My legs feel fresh. Everything just feels good. It feels right. That’s a good sign. I haven’t felt this good in a long time, probably since the beginning of my knee injury.’ We’ll see how McGrady holds up physically but so far he’s looking like the kind of low-cost value the the Hawks needed if they were going to improve the team without paying the tax. He scores, rebounds, passes and defends. And he still loves the big moments. ‘I’m a competitor, especially competing against the best, LeBron and D-Wade,’ he said. ‘I’m always up for the challenge. Those guys, it brings the best out of you. It felt pretty good.’”

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  • Kadavour

    Josh Smith tried his darned BEST to f*ck up ATL’s lead by taking jumpers and not driving to the bucket. that was infuritating

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    @Kadavour…yep, but many of those jumpers were forced by the Heat D who deserve some credit…..but how about the Hawks defense??!!!! BEST IN THE LEAGUE! So happy for T-Mac, I love this situation for him. Rooting for you brother!

  • http://nbasobrietystrike.blogspot.com/ CoolWhip

    I was watching this game on LeaguePass and announcing to my friend that TMac was outplaying DWade, badly, and leading the Hawks to victory and my friend refused to believe me.
    Great to see Tracy “13 in 45 seconds” McGrady make an appearance

  • Lew alcindor

    Miami cant do anything against the zone…

  • Thor

    I’m so happy for both T-Mac and my hawks. But yeah Josh is driving me crazy with those jumpers which weren’t all forced by the heat D, he just doesn’t get it. I hope someone stands up to him very soon and tells whats up!!

  • Mooney10

    The guy has been working on that shot the last 2 years, chill out its game 4 of the year! He’ll settle down nicely, hope he make the all-star team this year, love his game!

  • http://nyill.wordpress.com/ O

    Chicago or New York sure should’ve given serious consideration to signing T-Mac to come off the bench…

  • vctmac

    @ O – even miami or denver, or toronto. very economic signing, he doesnt need tht much money but ppl to believe in him. ITS THE RETURN OF THE MACCC

  • Heals

    Good to see him smiling like that again on the court…

  • MikeC.

    Can we get a Penny sighting? Stevie Franchise?

  • bike

    I’ll give him 10 more games until he starts complaining about his back or something. Tracey is charmin soft and a mere shell of a shell of his former self.

  • charliewinning

    ^But in his prime there was NO BETTER offensive player since MJ. He was always fragile. He rarely played defense, but offensively he was that dude. Yes, better on offense than even Kobe. His handle and crossover were prettier too.

  • patrick

    Chicago is retarded..they should have signed McGrady..or Stephen Jackson, Jason Richardson, Josh Howard, Caron Butler..Flip Murray, etc..I hope they at least get JR Smith when he’s free from his China contract.

  • http://www.slamonline.com spit hot fiyah

    ^stephen jackson was/is under contract

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Yep, Bulls should have signed T-Mac. But anyways, I’m glad he’s doing well with the Hawks. All that “It’s not who starts, it’s who finishes” rhetoric is nice, but T-Mac really should be starting over Marvin Williams and playing 30+ minutes a night. He’s the Hawks’ ex-factor right now.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    McGrady couldn’t fit in defensively with the Bulls. — He’s a terrible defender at this point. And no he should not start over Marvin Williams. They are producing right at the same rate, in right around the same amount of minutes. All while Williams is guarding the opposing teams best perimeter player.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    They are not producing at the same rate. T-Mac is clearly the better option, hence why he closes out their games. As for the Bulls, I’m sure Thibodeau would figure out a way to accommodate him. Carlos Boozer is not a good defender either, and Derrick Rose isn’t exactly a defensive stalwart yet they still have one of the best team defenses in the league.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    He tried out for the Bulls, last summer. Obviously he didn’t see a way to accommodate him enough to help the team. And Derrick Rose is a better individual defender than McGrady at this point. So is Boozer. And yes they are producing at the same rate. McGrady is shooting a higher % and scoring more points. Williams is grabbing more rebounds and actually playing defense.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    And McGrady is only slightly scoring more points. (.8 per 36 minutes to be exact). While Williams is out-rebounding McGrady by 1 rebound every 2 minutes. (9.0Reb per 36 to McGrady’s 6.7) – All of this and I haven’t even mentioned that Williams is leading the team in PER and Win Shares.

  • dapluva!

    I need a jeff teague and t-mac jersey this year yes sir!

  • pikkiwoki

    T-Mac’s defense is mixed. His on ball defense is pretty decent. But his off the ball defense is pretty terrible, often getting burned on backdoor cuts as he loses sight of his man. His activity level and hustle is pathetic most of the time. He rarely boxes out, often stands around and watches when the ball is in the air, and will allow big offensive rebounds by the other team that could be game changing. All of this was true even in his prime, but no one noticed it since he was such a supreme talent on offense. Now it’s even more noticeable since it seems like he’s trying to avoid contact to protect his surgically repaired knee.

    On offense, I see too much standing around. He doesn’t know how to move without the ball, since he really never had to in the past, as he’s always had the ball in his hands, rightfully so. Not to say he is a ballhog, because he is not. He has excellent court vision and is a great passer, great at reading defenses, especially when running pick and roll. But he needs the ball in his hands to do those things.

    All that said I’m cheering hard for him. He’s still my favorite player, and whoever said that in his prime he was more offensively talented than Kobe is right. When healthy he is a joy to watch, like watching a master artist at work.

  • jake

    Givw him some time to adjust. He could potentially be a grant hill type player for the hawks. He knows what his job is at this point and as long as his knees hold up hell be fine. It takesawhile for your brain to get over serious injury. Its natural instinct to shy away from contact after youve incurred significant amounts of trauma on one part over and over.

  • ClydeSays

    TMac has scoliosis, which will always give him back problems. That’s probably kept him out of as many games as his knees. Maybe he can be an effective bench scorer at this point in his career…

  • Mega

    sounds like some typical knee jerk reactions.

    t mac aint back to stay folks, so dont get attached, no way he plays a whole season and if he does its a GAURANTEED first round exit folks