The Hurt Locker: T-Mac and Howard face new injury issues

By: 02.23.10  •  29 Comments

Two games. If you were in the office pool to get action on the first time Tracy McGrady would start showing signs in New York of why the Rockets never trusted him enough to give him a featured role this season, whoever had “two games” gets the pot. In the second half of last night’s home loss to Milwaukee — the Knicks’ seventh L in a row, by the way — McGrady was noticeably limping around. After the game Mac admitted his knee had taken some punishment and he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to play against the Celtics tonight … On top of the knee issues, McGrady got his first taste of what it’s really like to be a Knick in the 21st century. With all the electricity from his debut sucked out of MSG by an anemic New York offense (67 points) and “The Demon from Down Under” (apparently that’s what they’re calling Andrew Bogut now), the Knicks got worked over. And they got to do it while embarrassing their forefathers, as the 1970 championship team was in the building. Plenty of “Can they put in Willis Reed?” and “I’d take Clyde Frazier over Chris Duhon right now” jokes to go around for everybody … Bogut (24 pts, 20 rebs) played like he had something to prove. A lot of people thought Bogut should’ve had David Lee‘s All-Star spot, and last night Bogut outplayed Lee (12 pts, 13 rebs) at every turn. One time he hit a hook shot over Lee and came down with one of those Ricky Davis “stick the landing” poses to let it sink in … One of the most overrated story lines in sports is the whole “Team X hasn’t done Achievement Y in however-many years” thing. If it’s anything that goes back more than a decade, odds are hardly anybody on the current roster had much to do with the streak. (Well, unless you have Theo Ratliff on your team.) For example, one of last night’s hyped story lines was the Hawks beating the Jazz in Utah for the first time since 1993. (In fact, Theo Ratliff may have been on that ATL team) … Joe Johnson hit a go-ahead triple with 2:30 to go, then Atlanta went up four on Jamal Crawford‘s free throws following a questionable blocking/no-charge call. Or at least it was questionable according to Utah’s announcers, who, strangely enough, thought EVERY call should have gone Utah’s way. When they even questioned Al Horford spiking Ronnie Price‘s layup off the glass on what was clearly nowhere near a goaltend, that was too much … Carlos Boozer got the Jazz within two on a putback with 1:15 left, but on the biggest defensive possession of the game, Johnson (28 pts, 6 rebs, 6 asts) was guarded by C.J. Miles and beasted him for a pull-up jumper that was basically the dagger … The Jazz were missing Deron Williams (leg) and Andrei Kirilenko (back), plus Mehmet Okur only played 14 minutes after returning from his wife giving birth. Boozer (12 pts, 10 rebs, 8 asts) tried to carry the load, but he wasn’t even getting the ball in the fourth quarter with Horford denying him … They were playing Lady GaGa during a timeout in the fourth quarter. Would Lady GaGa even be allowed to perform in Salt Lake City? Also, did you see when they were reviewing Kyle Korver‘s three-pointer late in the game and there was that lady sitting behind the scorer’s table who looked like a “Nip/Tuck” horror story? It was like a real-life Stifler’s Mom … Other stat lines from Monday: Brendan Haywood put up 13 points, 20 rebounds and 3 blocks in Dallas’ win over Indiana; Chris Kaman posted 18 points and 13 boards as the Clippers beat Charlotte, while Gerald Wallace had 32, 12 boards and 4 steals in the loss; and Andray Blatche led Washington past Chicago with 25 points and 11 boards, but the Wizards lost Josh Howard in the first quarter with a sprained left knee … Hopefully you watched NBA TV’s “NBA Gametime,” otherwise you wouldn’t have heard straight from Brent Barry‘s mouth that he didn’t wear underwear during the ’96 dunk contest. Stick that right into the T.M.I. file … We’re out like Healthy T-Mac …

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