For me, the most grating issue of the nine-month T-Mac Injury Drama were Rockets fans' attempts at medical opinions. As I recall, I accused (in not the nicest way possible) Xiane of trying to be an "internet doctor" back when McGrady was visiting several different doctors in the space of a few weeks.
Honestly, I think that the same thing was going on at an even more egregious level over the past month, as reporters and fans speculated on whether or not the Rockets were keeping a healthy McGrady out of games he could otherwise play. For a variety of reasons, this struck me as even more silly than the "doctor shopping" accusations of March and April.
So it's nice to see Chris Webber share some insights on coming back from microfracture surgery, as well as an experience that almost certainly influenced Adelman's decision to hold Tracy out of games for the past month, and only now play him in very limited minutes.
Why did Adelman wait so long to play McGrady? The fact that Webber may have ruined his career by trying to come back early probably has something to do with it.
Expect this to be the pattern for the next few weeks:
"I really looked at it. Tracy and I have been talking about this for awhile. When he plays it’s going to be very short minutes. With Trevor out tonight, the more I thought about it, it’s a good time to play him. We have four straight back to backs. I think it’s a good time to work him into short minutes. I plan to work him in to see how he feels and see where he is and it gives us a chance to play our regular guys some regular minutes.
"Trevor’s suspension got me thinking. The more I thought about the schedule, we need people." Adelman said.
The Rockets' coach said he would continue to use McGrady for short stints through the next six games, including Tuesday, to continue to gauge McGrady’s progress.
Dwyer on the game last night, as well as Mac's return:
Tracy McGrady played in the first quarter, oddly looking more out of shape than we saw him a month ago, and lofted a 20-footer that missed and a three-pointer that went in. If he's helping any team this year, it will be because he gets hot on somewhat contested shots from far, far away. He's not going to be getting to the line much, or driving. This isn't something that helps offenses, by the way.
Well, of the two times McGrady showed up in the paint, one resulted in an AB turnover, and the other resulted in two free throws. I wouldn't be too quick to judge him (either way) based off of seven minutes.
Empty the Bench notes that Budinger stole the show last night:
Making his first NBA start in his first NBA season, the Rockets’ 6-7 second-round pick, acquired in a draft-day deal with these Pistons, was phenomenal. Yes, he’s got a stroke on his jumper that’s sweeter than a baked sweet potato drizzled in butter and brown sugar, but this kid looks to be much more than your standard, run-of-the-mill spot-up shooter from three-point land who contributes little else. He scored, but he also rebounded, ran the floor, dove to the floor to scramble for loose balls, rebounded, passed, flashed surprising athleticism. He played defense! In other words, he fit in just fine with this hard-nosed Rockets team that’s once again doing things few predicted they could.
Oh, and Hardwood Paroxysm called him "Ginger McNasty." I like that so much more than our lame attempts at a nickname.
And that's all for today, folks. Sorry. To make it up to you, here's JVG doing his best Jamie Foxx impression: