T-Mack Is Back In Full Swing

By Jerald LeVon Hoover
Updated: January 30, 2007

HOUSTON — He was once one of the mighty walking wounded of this years NBA season. But, after some extensive rehab and rest on his balky back, the Houston Rockets all world guard, Tracy McGrady is beginning to show why he was indeed elected to another (five overall) All-Star game to be held in Las Vegas (Sin City), Nevada.

Sure, a real cynic would think that McGrady got himself well enough so that he can participate in the world most expensive exhibition.

But, if anybody really knows the pride of McGrady one wouldn’t dare go there with that thought. The Rockets have yet to play an extensive time with both All-Stars in Yao Ming (who is out for another several weeks with a fractured fibula) and McGrady.

It seemed as though when one was hurt the other carried the time, much like it is now with McGrady doing what he’s paid to do, score points in droves.

The Rockets once Yao does eventually come back to action, could be one dangerous time to deal with come playoff time. For one, with the playoffs being more of a half court and deliberate game (save for the road running Phoenix Suns) the Rockets will be in a true comfort zone.

Head coach Jeff Van Gundy’s style would be just what the doctor (pardon the pun) ordered. Not to mention Yao isn’t a speed demon on either end of the floor.

The real pressure it must be noted will be upon McGrady’s slender shoulders. You see for all of T-Mac wondrous basketball exploits on the hardwood during the season, he has never gone past the first round of the playoffs.

And that includes a time while in Orlando playing for the Magic when his team was up on the Detroit Pistons, three games to one, and he took his foot off the pedal and his squad went down in seven games.

Some people would think T-Mac isn’t a winner and is more concerned with his All-Star status and his points or perhaps some would probably think he’s just snake bit when it comes to staying healthy at a time when it truly counts.

The Rockets once they’re whole and healed from serious injury have the makings of a contender. They boast a bench led by playoff tested swing guard, Bonzi Wells, that would probably be a decent team in the dreaded East.

And with Yao having gained more savvy and substance to his game in what is his best year in the league statistically, the sky is the limit. Again, though the pressure will no doubt be on McGrady.

But, if his recent game against a young Portland Trailblazer team was any indication that the “Mack is back”, then all is going to be very well from now on. T-Mack put on a must-see show tailor made for adults only en route to his team steam rolling to a 30-point thumping, 99-69.

With his team struggling through the first two quarters, McGrady put on a 17-point extravanza. When it was all said and done he had scored 28 points in three quarters and sat out the entire fourth.

“I had it rolling”, McGrady said. “And there was nothing they could do about that”. No truer words were ever so spoken.

GAME NOTES: The games attendance was 18,155 which marked the Rockets 13th sellout of the season. Houston now has sold out the last five games in a row. McGrady sitting out the fourth quarter prevented him from scoring 30 points at home since he racked up 44 points against the Utah Jazz on January 5, 2007. McGrady’s last five 30-point performances have all come on the road after picking up five of his first six at the Toyota Center.