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Peak T-Mac or Peak Harden?

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Mr Woods, Jan 22, 2021.

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Peak McGrady or Peak Harden?

  1. Tracy McGrady

    27.3%
  2. James Harden

    72.7%
  1. Downtown Sniper

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    Agreed. If you pitted both against each other I'd be putting money on T-Mac every day.

    But you'd have to pick Harden by volume of work - even with all the factors at play which skew the answer.
     
    htownrox1 and BossHogg713 like this.
  2. SuperMarioBro

    SuperMarioBro Member

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    I love McGrady, but it's Harden... When exactly did Morey say that, anyway? Because Morey was with the Rockets for a good while before we ever even got Harden, and another good while before Harden became a candidate for GOAT offensive player. Also how long is a "peak"?

    There was only one thing McGrady was really better at: defense. Arguably passing, and in a more ball-dominant role like Harden's, he could have probably put up as many assists on a better A:T ratio.

    As for healthy TMac being better than Kobe lol, so what? Kobe was great, but he is the single most overrated player of my lifetime. There's like ten players in the NBA today who are all better than Kobe ever was and/or are on a clear trajectory to get there. And Harden is one of them.
     
  3. BossHogg713

    BossHogg713 Member

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    Agree.
     
  4. CVcrew

    CVcrew Member

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    There’s not much depth to the question. From sitting at home and just watching them play ball, I’d prefer to watch peak Tracy over James. Just loved a healthy TMac’s game. If only he would have been as durable as James.
     
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  5. Mr Woods

    Mr Woods Member

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    Not necessarily in disagreement here. But I will say, the efficiency argument is sort of unfair when you consider Harden benefited from Morey ball.

    If T-Mac played under the ‘3s-Layups-FreeThrows only model’, I think his numbers spike.
     
    Trackwell likes this.
  6. justtxyank

    justtxyank Member

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    James Harden was efficient in OKC. McGrady's best ever TS% season was worse than all of Harden's seasons except his rookie year. Same for eFG%.

    Nobody could ever tell McGrady to stop taking bad shots.

    Like I said, crazy talented and I loved watching him, but he was never the cerebral player that James Harden is.
     
  7. riko

    riko Member

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    Tmac would break down within 6 months if he played like Harden. If everyone could do what harden was doing with that physically taxing game then everyone would be doing it.
     
  8. riko

    riko Member

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    Great post
     
  9. Mr Woods

    Mr Woods Member

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    This interview was in August of 2019. Which was after Harden’s MVP season and after that “unguardable tour”. Therefore, it says a lot that Daryl still chose T-Mac.
     
  10. smp

    smp Member

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    If harden played with a broken down giant and players like all the scrubs Tmac had, i think it would be a lot closer than people think. Harden had a lot of legitimate star players. He gave up (like Tmac) when he had a bunch of scrubs.

    I’d like to have someone list the best players Tmac had in Houston, and the best players Harden had in Houston. If anyone feels like doing it.
     
    Mr Woods likes this.
  11. SuperMarioBro

    SuperMarioBro Member

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    I don't think that's true... I also think a lot of McGrady's shots started looking bad as his career advanced, his back and knees started giving out on him, and his shot seemed to get flatter and flatter, and brickier and brickier.

    McGrady had his issues, but he was definitely a high IQ player... To win games in Houston the way he did even in the mid-to-late 00s as his body fell apart and his center couldn't stay on the floor with a mediocre supporting cast took more than just raw physical talent. He had incredible court vision and some of the best handles for a guy his size. It's oversimplifying his game and the issues that plagued his career to say he just took bad shots.

    I think a McGrady who comes into the NBA 10 years later under Moreyball and, somehow, manages to stay healthy has a good shot of becoming an offensive force for the ages, not to mention his natural defensive talent. Look at how much Harden's shot selection changed over the past several seasons... but of course, that's not the question being asked. As it stands, peak Harden is better than peak McGrady. Even in his best years, McGrady didn't do what Harden did.
     
    #31 SuperMarioBro, Jan 22, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2021
    Nelly, gotsis and Mr Woods like this.
  12. daywalker02

    daywalker02 Member

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    If he had Grover, Hakeem training him earlier, no idea actually what he would have been...
     
  13. SuperMarioBro

    SuperMarioBro Member

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    The only great player Harden had in Houston was a 32-year-old Chris Paul, and really only for one season...

    He took Dwight Howard to the WCF in a year that Dwight missed half the season (and 40% of the Rockets' starting lineup was out for the entire playoffs), this two years after Dwight barely made the playoffs with pre-achilles Kobe, Pau, Artest...

    He took frigging Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon to 56 wins and the verge of a WCF appearance against the Spurs.

    He took Russell Westbrick and no center (or PF, really) to the 2nd round and gave them a shot against LA. Maybe an even better one without House's horniness and the venerable Scott Foster.

    In the west, you could argue that the Rockets don't even make the playoffs any year we didn't have Chris Paul if you replace Harden with an average SG. Chris Paul is the only guy you could even argue was on the level of Yao Ming, and they both had their injury issues.
     
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  14. MrButtocks

    MrButtocks Member

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    Tmac's prime was comparable to one of Harden's off years.
     
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  15. justtxyank

    justtxyank Member

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    I didn't say he was low IQ, I said he wasn't cerebral like Harden. Harden doesn't get enough credit for his mental skills in basketball. He's a genius on the court. He's Lebron level in terms of brainpower on the court.
     
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  16. SamFisher

    SamFisher Member

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    Remember when: Morey had to show him the "Tracy be aggressive" video to encourage him to drive and stop him from taking bad pull-up shots?

    Well, legend has it that after chucking that thumb drive in the trash, it was recovered by a teenager from Artesia HS in California and the rest, as they say, is history.
     
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  17. justtxyank

    justtxyank Member

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    Tracy's settling for jumpshots was a constant complaint on this board for years. And it wasn't because of health until later. He just LOVED taking those long jumpshots.
     
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  18. SamFisher

    SamFisher Member

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    He was here under Morey, he didn't get the message.
     
  19. SamFisher

    SamFisher Member

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    Nobody liked a long 2 like Tracy. 40% of his shots were long twos!
     
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  20. SuperMarioBro

    SuperMarioBro Member

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    So this is a semantic debate? I don't really know what you're trying to say because I don't know what the difference is between cerebral and IQ. I'm treating them the same.

    For his era, McGrady was just as "cerebral" as Harden, especially considering he didn't have a guy like Morey guiding him from a young age. Those shots weren't all that bad for a superstar perimeter player to be taking in the 00s. It's just that McGrady slowly lost his ability to make them as his body fell apart. And he showed an ability to make 3s before all that happened, too. I think he was fully capable of playing Moreyball.

    ... Ultimately this is a complete hypothetical that we'll never find the answer to, but I just don't buy the argument that McGrady took bad shots, therefore he could have never been great under different circumstances.
     

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