It was weird enough watching the Knicks/Celtics game last night and seeing Eddie House and Nate Robinson taking ill-advised shots for the opposite team. But with 2:49 left in the game, and the Celtics up 107-104, I actually cringed in my seat when Tracy McGrady had the ball on the left wing with Kevin Garnett guarding him 1-on-1.
McGrady dribbles to his left once before hesitating, and then drives “hard” to the basket and finishes the layup with his left hand to make it 107-106. Watch the clip HERE and skip to 1:40 if you think you can bear this. The play last night was so egregious that it actually put me in a stupor (vocabulary in this sentence is brought to you by Walt “Clyde” Frazier, whose dictionary can be accessed HERE). It also led the always-entertaining Knicks blog PostingAndToasting.com to link the play to a YouTube clip titled “Two Senior Citizens Dancing.”
What becomes immediately evident is that T-Mac and KG have knees that are more worn out than Jenna Jameson. The hesitation move could have thrown off any defender, but the extremely slow first step that followed, along with KG unable to block it off or even keep up with T-Mac, was extremely sad to watch for someone who grew up watching them in their primes.
Remember those great “Impossible is Nothing” ads from adidas featuring KG, T-Mac, and Duncan? Those days of dominance are long over, and while KG became the 20th player in NBA history to pull down 12,000 rebounds, it’s obvious that he will never rebound from his most recent knee injury. Same goes for T-Mac.
In his last three games, he has shown that he could still play in the League, but against anyone other than KG, T-Mac will never be able to get to the hole that easily again. He will still have those spurts that will make you rethink writing him off, but it will never again be consistent, and it will have whatever team he plays for next year worrying.
No matter how many people believe Tim Grover is a miracle worker, conditioning to get back into game shape and the soreness that comes from playing 40 minutes on a damaged knee are completely different animals. The Knicks would love to have McGrady re-sign for the veteran’s minimum if they can pull in two huge free agents this summer, but he will surely be relegated to the role of third option (at best). He’ll more likely be a facilitator or an off-the-screen/set shooter, who, like KG, will never regain form.
Where do you see T-Mac going next year? Will T-Mac or KG ever be able to regain form?
Follow Adam on Twitter at @FloBombin.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DIMEMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.