NBA / Feb 24, 2010 / 3:00 pm

T-Mac vs. KG: Impossible Is Something

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.

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  • Detroit Dave

    T-Mac should re-invent himself as a 6th man.

  • http://twitter.com/thehoopla Peli





  • Ian

    i remember tmac and kg guarding each other in some orlando vs minny games tmac usually owned kg

  • ab_40

    tmac pretty much owned everybody in orlando too bad those teams sucked.

    and yeah to see KG, VC, T-mac all regressing like this over the years is really painfull to see. I had it with pip before them. those were my favorite players. and I still follow em but the great years they had back in the day are over. they’ll have some great games here and there and maybe enough to win their team a series in the playoffs but nver those dominant performances of amazing skill mixed with off the charts atheticism. it’s a damn shame

  • http://www.random-ish.com Scoob

    You guys are reaching. Joe Johnson moves at that same speed yet he’s called “smooth”. KG was the one who looked gimpy.

  • http://heckler@aol.com Heckler

    neither will ever regain form.
    but its ok. they are still beloved by fans in their own way.
    at the start of the decade (2000) they were 2 of (maybe) the best 8 players in the league (shaq,duncan,iverson,kobe,vince,kidd being the others).

    its tough to say where Tracy will play next year. everything SLOWS down soooo badly when he has the ball. he wouldnt last to Thanksgiving playing with an uptempo style team.

    I think maybe Tracy goes to the Heat. he’s from florida. he’d pay no state income tax. and he konws he wouldnt have to carry the load being that Wade would (still) be there. and the Heat can offer him a starting spot (if he wants it)

    expect miami to have dwyane wade and stoudamire (or at least boozer) next season, so it’ll make it easy for McGrady to go to the Heat; plus he’d probabl sign dirt cheap at the Vets minimum

  • http://heckler@aol.com Heckler

    did they do “Fashion Police” commercial together too?!!?

  • Jah

    I’m calling a REACH here! It wasn’t that bad Dime — obviously the man is coming off of multiple knee surgeries too, and he’s 30, and it’s the end of the game — he’s winded.


  • Kermit The Washington

    This joint is real sad. But Detroit Dave is kinda right; I don’t know if he needs to be 6th man, but TMac’s “superstar” days are DONE. He’s gotta just start working on getting his Grant Hill on and just become a reliable 3rd option. But then again, Grant didn’t have a knee injury like that. That’s mad hard to come back from (unless your name is Kenyon Martin).

  • mavs all the way

    uh oh. i’m seeing a memo to dime from adidas. not good.

  • http://dimemag.com/author/adam/ Adam Flomenbaum

    @jah – what’s the reach? compared to how they used to drive and defend pre-injury this was just sad. I’m not saying it’s age, it’s the misfortune of injury and it was hard to watch when you remember how dominant they used to be.

    @ab_40 – VC’s kinda different, he’s found a niche as a different kind of player now, and has actually come to defend pretty well. He’s also had bad luck with injury, but we all know he kinda just stopped trying.

    @scoob – joe johnson is slow(ish) but like Pierce he knows how to use his body to get where he wants to go on the court and he has a good array of moves to do so, including a nice little crossover – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFdy2yQ3Vos&feature=related – i’d say Joe Johnson is smoother now than T-Mac, wouldn’t you?

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    I am trying to understand the purpose for this particular article. Granted if you wanted to highlight the video just show the video with some jokes or something.

    Still all that was written is old news. I guess perhaps a personal epiphany just hit in relation to T and K.G. Or perhaps there lack of being what they were shocked you.

    Just saying everyone knows T and what he used to be but he can help more than hinder. Now if you debating that I can understand also. I think I would more appreciate an aspect from how the Timberwolves and Rockets contributed greatly to the partial demise of 2 great players.

    Personally I don’t care where T goes next year as he finally accomplished his goal of getting on the floor to play and contribute.

    We already know they won’t regain their old form but on smarts alone (which is what they play off more now) they can still be good contributors to their respective squads.

    I don’t even think it’s the article per-say in as much as it’s people who are acting like T not being the T mac of old is some great revelation and then wanna clown cause he ain’t doing what he used to.

    That’s a sucker move to me. Have at it though, and enjoy. Just real pointless and lame imo. So where we going next A.I. (check), K.G. (check), T.Mac (check)…who is next?

    Course you awready know i’m bias and prolly going in to deep on what should be meant for fun. Perhaps I need to lighten up and smile more and live longer on the issue. Just kinda corny to me that is all.

  • Mark

    Wasn’t pretty, but T-Mac did get his points from that play.

    Sad to see the explosiveness he had isn’t there (at least yet), but as long as he puts up points, he’s doing his job.

  • CasualFan

    “What becomes immediately evident is that T-Mac and KG have knees that are more worn out than Jenna Jameson.”

    That was just WRONG.

  • common sense

    aight, big t-mac fan here, all i know is that i just spent the best part of the last hour watching old tmac highlights on youtube…

    you forget just how gifted that guy was.. ive never seen a player make the game look so easy especially when in rhythm.. i guess everyones response is so doom laiden because they were unrealistacally hoping that grover would work his magic like on wade and mac would be back…

    just like grant hills ankles i think these nba teams need to shut players down for whole seasons if injuries are reoccuring for say the third time even if the player thinks theyr recovered… houston kept bringing mac in and out of the lineup cus they wanted to win now but all they did was hinder their long term success.. now mac is gone and they got a massive booobie prize in kevin martin (who is the most overated player in the nba), i thinkg arenas blamed washington from not saving him from himself during his comebacks(even though arenas seems slightly overly self involved he might have a point)..

    there needs to be a 30 for 30 or behind the music type epiphany for mac cus he was that talented….. frustrating!!

  • http://dimemag.com/author/adam/ Adam Flomenbaum

    @ common sense – i agree with everything you just said – just like the NFL has started forcing guys to sit out who have had concussions the NBA or at least the teams have to start keeping better tabs on players who come back too soon because their teams make them. The owners are pushing for shorter contracts and more flexibility within the next CBA, mostly for horrible deals like Elton Brand – but injuries can be just as bad as a guy not living up to potential.

  • http://bt.davka.info/ SparkyJ23

    What the fuck are you talking about dime?
    2 old guys will never be young again is your point?
    Adam are in better shape than you were 12 years ago? Didn’t think so

  • David Brandon

    damn gee!! lol
    and for real, dime, get rid of this “comment is too short” mess. sometimes i dont have a lot to say. my “damn gee!! lol” was all i wanted to say, but now that you got me on the soap box, whats up?? haha…fix that shit man.

  • Promoman

    McGrady moving slowly is to be expected. Look at all the time taken from him because of injuries and the microfracture surgery. He didn’t get a chance to get eased back into playing in Houston and was deactivated. It’ll be fair to make an assessment at least a year or so from now. KG has had to play heavy minutes in Minnesota years and it looks like it’s catching up to him now. I doubt Boston will get another title but they’ll at least be serious threats to win the East.

  • Ex-RocketFan

    “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.”

    Premature statement. T-Mac drove past a young, fresh legged rookie (Harden) for a few And-1’s in his Knicks debut .

    Give T-Mac an offseason where he can focus on conditioning and basketball instead of on rehab, then let’s see what he does in the 2010-2011 preseason before completely writing him off.

  • chris

    be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone – kg and tmac, like chris webber, sharif abdur-rahim, etc, have totally used up their knees by their late 20’s/early 30’s, and became way less explosive and way less effective defenders, able to contribute a bit on offense for 20 minutes a game for a few more years, if lucky, in the right system, but definitely not worth the big bucks anymore.
    the only thing more painful is watching players after achilles tendon repair – elton brand, like arvydas sabonis, alton lister, etc., has lost at least 6 inches off his jump and a bit of quickness

  • bakedbeing

    Yah that was pretty slow, and KG did look a bit wonky!

    That said, NBA games look like college games played at half speed, but a lot of college ball is wasted energy. Sometimes a shoulder fake will do a lot more than a sprint when you’re wiley enough about it, and the vets know it eh :)

    PS: McGrady there’s moving about as fast as Paul Pierce always has.

  • sh!tfaced


    “In the jungle
    Watch it bring you to your
    I wanna watch you bleed…”

    So the pre-game intro being played, Guns N Roses’ Welcome to the Jungle was really an inside joke?

  • Ex-RocketFan


    21 pts 8 assists 7 boards 3 steals 2 blocks on 6-12 fg 2-2 3pt 7-8 ft’s in 34 minutes

    *cough haaaaaaaaaaaaaack cough*

    doesn’t even have *cough* his legs back yet