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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. KingCheetah

    KingCheetah Contributing Member

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    Harden is better, but McGrady was more exciting -- a similar debate could be Harden vs. Vince Carter (same results IMO).
     
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  2. FLAGRANT1

    FLAGRANT1 Member

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    T Mac
     
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  3. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

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    I can only imagine a team of Westbrook and Tmac

    Rocket River
     
  4. MaxRider

    MaxRider Member

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    Harden is better player but i like T-Mac more
     
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  5. smp

    smp Member

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  6. jakedasnake

    jakedasnake Member

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    Yes Tmac's biggest issue was that he would fall in love with his jumper, didn't take it strong enough to the basket consistently and didn't draw as many fouls as Harden did/does due to craftiness, etc. This is what makes Harden so great. His ability to get to the rim and either finish or draw fouls is unparalleled. there were times where Harden was too passive in attacking the rim but most of the time he still attacks the rim at an amazing clip. Not to mention that he never shoots an inefficient jumper like Tmac used to do. Too many jumpers from Tmac and not enough hard drives to the rim = 1st round exit vs. Conference Finals.
     
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  7. jordnnnn

    jordnnnn Member

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    Wait.... Have YOU looked at Tmacs playoff numbers?

    Just their Houston playoff games

    Harden
    85 games

    Offensive Rating : 113
    Defensive Rating : 109
    Usage : 33.4%

    28.1/ 5.7 / 7.1

    42/32/87 shooting splits good for 58% TS and an average game score of 20.8

    McGrady
    20 games

    Offensive Rating : 107
    Defensive Rating : 108
    Usage : 35.6%

    27.7/ 7.1 / 7.0

    43/29/72 splits good for 50.6% TS and an average game score of 19.6

    85 games to 20 could probably end the discussion but even if you want to go deeper there’s nothing there to nudge it Tmacs direction.

    Even if you include all of the playoff numbers from rookie through their times in Houston you are looking at about the same thing comparatively speaking.
     
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  8. Mr Woods

    Mr Woods Member

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    You have to include T-Mac’s 3 years in Orlando, because those 3 years were still part of his peak.

    He put up back to back to back playoff numbers of:

    00-01: 33.8 / 8.3 / 6.5 on 41.5% FG
    01-02: 30.8 / 5.5 / 6.3 on 46.2% FG
    02-03: 31.7 / 4.7 / 6.7 on 44.8% FG

    Factoring those playoff seasons, T-Mac’s playoff numbers are superior to Harden’s.
     
  9. jayydela

    jayydela Member

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    13 points in 35 seconds vs the Spurs or 60 point triple dub vs the Magic?
     
  10. Kevooooo

    Kevooooo Member

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    Hard for me not to say Tmac as he was my favorite player growing up. I loved his moves. I have like a 4 inch vertical and I'd try to shoot like Tmac, jump as high as you can (barely off the ground for me) and shoot a laser beam shot from the top of the key lol

    Harden was more skilled, and just as gifted as a passer -- just in different ways. Tmac was a much flashier player because he played ABOVE the rim far more than Harden ever has. Which gives the illusion of a superior talent. But Harden has stayed healthy his entire career. Harden also had the benefit of better teams. Tmac never had a solid cast around him like Harden did -- even when we had our worst bench years they were always better than Tmac's. I did love that first year roster with all the washed up white guys like Sura and Barry haha

    But objectively, I think you have to put Harden > Tmac
    Still, neither has really accomplished anything other than individual stats
     
  11. yixiixiy

    yixiixiy Member

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    smh this even a debate...
     
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  12. Kevooooo

    Kevooooo Member

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    tmac also played notably better in the playoffs
    We never lost a round because of Tmac or Yao.
    Those two always produced even when the Jazz and Mavs were flopping and jumping in front of Yao to draw bs charges
    It was our bench who disappeared -- if we managed to stay healthy long enough to make the playoffs


    That's kind of why I wanted to see Harden go to Philly. I was curious if Harden and Embiid could be as good or better than Tmac and Yao.
     
  13. Kevooooo

    Kevooooo Member

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    You hit the nail on the head.
     
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  14. RocketsJumer

    RocketsJumer Member

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    Tmac was/is my favorite player. He got me into basketball so he will always hold a special place in my basketball heart.

    In a vacuum, where all things are equal, and you are comparing players one to one, it’s easy to fall in love with T-Mac.

    Like Morey said, 6’9 with amazing shooting ability, passing ability, quick, super elite athlete, tools to be a plus-(if not elite)defender (when engaged) with an amazing IQ and vision. To me, if someone wanted to make the prototype NBA superstar, it would more or less resembled TMac.

    But when you get to substance and playing games in real life, Harden takes the cake pretty easily. Extremely gifted in his own way with the durability to be relied on for the whole season.

    Though both left much to be desired mentally, I would trust Harden more to carry a team.

    If peak T-Mac is 2002-2004 and peak Harden is 2017-2020, I think peak Harden on those ‘02-04 Magic teams would have at least been a top 4-6 seed and won a 1st round series. I’ve seen Harden carry some mediocre, if not terrible, teams to 50+ win seasons with successful playoff appearances (namely WCF in 2015) in a tougher Western Conference.

    I’m not sure if peak-Tmac on those ‘17-20 Rockets teams would have been as good, highly doubt any better. It’s a shame that by the time we got Tmac a real championship caliber team (2008-2009), he was past his prime and injury-riddled.
     
    #74 RocketsJumer, Jan 22, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2021
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  15. jordnnnn

    jordnnnn Member

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    I knew I should have just laid out everything in the original post because, NO when you include all that they aren’t superior other than a little bit of volume because Harden was in a lesser role his first few years.

    And why would you only use FG%?

    All playoff numbers from rookie year until they left Houston...

    Harden

    128 Games / 85 started

    Offensive rating : 114
    Defensive rating : 109
    Usage : 29.6%

    23.5 / 5.4 / 5.8

    17 FGA(7.5 3s)and 8 FTA per game

    43/33/87 good for 58.5% TS and a game score of 17.7

    McGrady
    38 games / 38 started

    Offensive rating : 107
    Defensive rating : 108
    Usage : 34.8%

    28.5 / 6.9 / 6.2

    24 FGA(5 3s) and 9 FTA per game

    43/30/76 splits good for 52% TS and a game score of 20.1

    Harden clearly leads offensively/efficiency. McGrady has leads in per game numbers but had the advantage of nearly +5% in usage rate.

    I can see an argument being formed that McGrady MAY have been SLIGHTLY better in the playoffs. I wouldn’t buy it, but it wouldn’t be delusional. But there’s no spinning it to where McGrady is CLEARLY superior.
     
    #75 jordnnnn, Jan 22, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2021
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  16. htownrox1

    htownrox1 Member

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    That's cap. T-mac was just hindered by injuries. The dude gave his all in the playoffs every time he took the court. Can't say the same for Harden.



    In the final game of the series T-mac put up 40/10/5... All while playing on an injured knee receiving injections before the games.

    Look at the rest of the roster...

    Scola 15 pts
    Alston 8 pts
    Battier 5 pts
    Mutombo 2 pts 6 rbds

    Novak 8 pts

    I truly believe if T-mac had the support Harden has had in the playoffs he would have won a championship. Too bad injuries and garbage rosters in Houston ruined T-mac.
     
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  17. jim1961

    jim1961 Member

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    Right now, I don't like Harden at all.
     
  18. sushimaster

    sushimaster Member

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    If you put a healthy, motivated, prime Tmac against a healthy, motivated, Harden, one one one, Tmac easily would win...
    Dude was taller, athletic and could do everything Kobe could do (skillwise) and was the hardest person Kobe had to guard.


    For example, if you put a prime Harden in this game on the Spurs to guard Tmac, would he be able to stop McGrady?


    Prime motivated McGrady > Prime motivated Harden
     
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  19. dobro1229

    dobro1229 Contributing Member

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    I think it's useful to put into context healthy T-MAC and Yao vs Harden/Dwight or Harden/CP3 or Harden/Russ.

    I might take a healthy & peak T-Mac/Yao over Harden/Dwight or Harden/Russ every day of the week.

    However I think peak TMac/Yao isn't as good as Harden/CP3 and Capela who as a log threat really rounded out that team nicely. Harden is a better player with much more accomplishments to prove it, but I don't want to discount how great the TMac/Yao pairing would have been which could have outperformed many Harden teams.
     
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  20. HorryForThree

    HorryForThree Member

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    Important to mention that Harden got Howard and CP3 with mileage still left (though CP3's injuries prevented a championship from materializing), though Russ was clearly past his prime last year.

    T-Mac as well had Dikembe when he was basically at the end of his career, Howard was late career and close to retirement, and Yao, as great as he was, was a liability on defense, especially in the playoffs when he really got crushed (Carlos Boozer ate Yao alive in the playoffs every time we faced them).
     
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