McGrady keeping it not so real

All those pointing at Tracy McGrady for the Rockets' failures in their playoff series against the Utah Jazz and his failure in getting beyond the first round in six playoff appearances on Wednesday added a surprising voice to their cause.

McGrady blamed himself.

Sort of.

Mocking those who blame him, McGrady joined the chorus.

"It's my fault," McGrady said. "It's my fault we missed free throws. It's my fault we lost both games. Blame me. It's my fault we fouled to tie the game up. That's my fault. It's my fault they get easy layups. It's my fault we're not executing well on the offensive end. It's my fault a couple people in the stands ordered Heinekens and they got Budweiser. It's my fault. I'm sorry."

Told the beer reference might have revealed his straight-faced sarcasm, McGrady rolled on.

"I am serious," he said. "It's my fault. Everything is my fault. It's my fault. It's T-Mac's fault.

"Everybody's blaming me. The Suns. I mean, everybody. That's what it seems like. It's my fault. I'm out there by myself."

McGrady carried the Rockets for three quarters on Monday, scoring 22 points with 10 rebounds and nine assists. He had one point and three rebounds, without an assist in the fourth quarter as the Rockets fell into two-game hole in the series, explaining he was worn out in the fourth quarter.

In the two games, he is 0-for-7 in fourth quarters, prompting debate on McGrady's play in this and past series.

"I'm in a tough position," McGrady said. "If I go out and try to be passive and we're not making shots, then we're in a hole. If I am aggressive and I have to stay that way, then fourth quarter, I'm worn out, don't have the lift I do in the first three quarters.

"It's a tough situation to be in. Story of my season or my playoff career."

This has become a greater issue with the Rockets shorthanded with the Rockets playing the first two games of the season with Yao Ming and Rafer Alston out.

"That's another one of my faults, that Rafer got hurt and Yao got hurt," McGrady said. "It's my fault. I'm sorry.

"Even some of the guys can't even believe it. I was talking to one of the guys and he was like, "I would hate to be you. I really can't believe what some of the people say about you, especially after playing the game you played the other night.' They can't believe it."

Rockets coach Rick Adelman seemed surprised by the criticism as well, but said he was not concerned that it would affect McGrady.

"He's got a lot on his shoulders right now, no matter what he does," Adelman said. "He almost got a triple double and it still wasn't good enough. He's going to be fine. He's pretty tough mentally. He'll get through it."

McGrady also said that he would not change the way he plays. Though he made it clear he was extremely aware of the criticism, he said it doesn't bother him.

"I got to keep on doing what I do," he said. "I can't even worry about that."

McGrady, however did acknowledge that if the Rockets win, he would also be given excessive credit.

"You said it, man. That's it," McGrady said. "If we was to win that game Tuesday night, despite me scoring only one point in the fourth quarter, if was was to win that game, Oh, I had an awesome game — an unbelievable game. If we win, I made my teammates better, I rebounded, I played defense. That would have been the story line. But because we lost (ellipses)

"I can't do nothing about it."

McGrady was told that his childhood hero, Magic Johnson, had praised him on the TNT broadcast.

"If Magic Johnson liked my game," McGrady said, "then damn what everyone else says."

The problem with McGrady now is that everyone still puts him on the same pedestal as a Kobe Bryant, when he's really a uber-Lamar Odom.

If he really wants to win the big one, he should restructure his contract, so the Rockets can get another impact player.

The MF couldn't get out of the first round in the east. Nough said.

Tmac has fallen far from those days where people used to debate if he or Kobe was the best player in the NBA. He's not too far off with his sarcasm though, he played very well in game 1 and 2.

Also, look at the current rocket roster that is playing in the playoffs this year.

A below-average center compared to the competiion.

A below-average PF compared to the competition.

An average SF compared to the competition.


An average-to-below average PG compared to the competition.

The fact is the Rockets are overachievers with what they have to work with.

Rasheed has never had to be the #1 option. You might as well say Robert Horry is 5X the player Wallace is.

The irony is that for most of his career the big knock on Sheed is that he refused to be the main man on his teams.

 it's on me

"The irony is that for most of his career the big knock on Sheed is that he refused to be the main man on his teams."

Exactly, he refused to be the main man when he was easily the best player on his team. Now that he has other good-to-great players surrounding him and plays in a system that doesn't require him to put up max numbers, it's much easier to be the leader.