"It does [sting more]. You got Willis Reed sitting right there in the front row and the performance that we gave out we definitely wanted to give a little bit more, but it happens." -- Tracy McGradyGAME OBSERVATIONS
"I came in here [to the locker room] and sat for 15, 20 minutes and then went out. Late towards the end, I banged knees again so I think coach saw me limping and he just pulled me out." -- Tracy McGrady
"I thought we didn't really have a lot of pop. Guys were hesitating. They just seemed lost." -- Mike D'Antoni
"I always like to play transition and pick and roll. I like quick passes and try to get everyone involved. It's easy here because we have so many shooters."-- Sergio Rodriguez
Well that was a quick drop back to reality. This game was not nearly as entertaining as McGrady's previous outing which was an adrenaline rush with so much new blood. It started off with great anticipation as Mike D'Antoni finally put Chris Duhon on the bench. In his place, he started Sergio Rodriguez. Revelation. Yes!!! The Knicks are on God's prayer list with other chosen teams and players.
Unfortunately, while Sergio looked better, especially on defense with eight steals, he had Duhon-type numbers with 3 turnovers, 1 assist and 4 points. He really looked like a third stringer too, but one could not expect much from a new point guard in his first start with brand new teammates who haven't played together before one game ago. A point guard is most effective when he knows the tendencies of his teammates and they have practiced the sets over and over. Hopefully, Sergio should get at least a little better.
On the other hand, we hope McGrady gets a little better. D'Antoni wiped the desperation off his face and sat McGrady for most of the second half because the former all-star was limping around the court and becoming practically useless in his second game in two years. The McGrady tryouts are already in danger so it may seem.
From the very beginning McGrady looked like a tired Michael Jordan at the end of his stint with the Wizards. The mind was willing but the body was stuck in pause. McGrady tried to show leadership and direct traffic, but he was ineffective on both sides of the ball as the Bucks played great man to man. They crowded him, doubled from time to time and quickly filled the lane on his drives to the basket. He had no counter. He was clearly hurt and tired.
Mike D'Antoni. For all the praise (and slaps upside the back of his head) he deserves for finally sitting Duhon, he should continue to get coal for his stocking because he insists on playing David Lee against big guys like Andrew Bogut (24 points, 20 rebounds and 5 blocks). Talk about starting at a significant disadvantage in the paint.
D'Antoni allowing House to play so much point did not make a lot of sense either. He had no turnovers and three assists, but it is widely known that a little pressure on House's dribble stops the flow of an offense. He is truly a shooting guard and played point in a very limited way with the Celtics.
Defense. Defense. Defense. The Bucks played it. We didn't.