- CLUTCH Summary: Having played for the Houston Rockets, Toronto Raptors and Orlando Magic Magic, Tracy McGrady is one of the best offensive players to have ever graced the NBA.
- A lengthy two-guard, McGrady will likely be remembered for his scoring outbursts more than anything else.
- Affectionately known as T-Mac, Tracy McGrady has a game that would thrive in any NBA era.
Very few will argue that Tracy McGrady is one of the best two-guards in the history of the NBA. In his peak, he was an absolute dominant force in the league, and very few, if any, could stop him when he was in the zone. T-Mac could easily drop 30 on any given night, and his scoring prowess is perhaps what made him such a great player.
McGrady entered the league at the very tender age of 18 straight out of Mount Zion Christian Academy High School. His decorated career would span 15 seasons, and during this decade and a half, the Bartow, Florida native would produce some of the most unforgettably dominant performances this sport has ever seen.
#7 at New Jersey Nets (Feb 23, 2003)
At that point in time, the New Jersey Nets were the team to beat in the East. Jason Kidd and company were perennial playoff contenders and were on their way to their second straight trip to the NBA Finals.
McGrady knew what was at stake, and made sure that he would show up against one of the best teams in the league. The seven-time All-NBA team member’s all-around game was on full display on this evening, as he logged an amazing 46-point, 13-assist, 10-rebound triple-double against New Jersey.
#6 at Washington Wizards (Jan 16, 2003)
This date will definitely stand out in McGrady’s personal history book. Why? For the simple reason that this was arguably his best performance against the great Michael Jordan.
Sure, MJ was already 40 years of age at this point and was already in the twilight of his career, but nonetheless, to have played and performed against one of, if not the greatest of all time is definitely something worth noting. And it’s not as if Jordan was taking it easy, as the six-time NBA champ put up quite a show against a 23-year-old T-Mac.
Jordan accounted for 32 points, six rebounds, and eight assists. For his part, McGrady logged 31 points, a couple of treys, six rebounds, five assists, and two steals. It was MJ and the Wizards who would come out on top, but by pretty much matching Jordan blow-by-blow in this tremendous duel makes this another unforgettable performance from McGrady.
#5 at Washington Wizards (Apr 13, 2001)
On April of 2001, the Washington Wizards fell victim to one of McGrady’s most outstanding offensive displays. The 6-foot-8 swingman logged 49 points (on a highly-efficient 19-of-31 shooting), a couple of treys, eight rebounds, seven assists, two steals, and four blocks in what was a very dominant all-around performance from McGrady.
T-Mac produced this gem at the tail end of the 2000-01 regular season with just four more games remaining before the playoffs, but there was no way he was putting on the brakes. This performance was a great representation of McGrady’s tremendous campaign where he would not only get his first All-Star nod, but also bag the Most Improved Player of the Year trophy.
#4 vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (Dec 25, 2013)
Christmas of 2013 produced a memorable marquee matchup between one of the best scorers in the league in McGrady against an up-and-coming rookie phenom in LeBron James. These two would absolutely live up to the billing, going toe-to-toe on an epic Christmas Day contest.
James would not back down, as the then 19-year-old put up 34 points, four three’s, two rebounds, six assists, two steals, and a block. McGrady knew that LeBron was the future of the league, but at that point in time, he wasn’t ready to pass on the torch just yet. T-Mac would stand his ground, scoring 41 points, along with five three-pointers, eight rebounds, 11 assists, three steals, and a block as he led the Magic to a 113-101 victory.
#3 at Detroit Pistons (Apr 23, 2003 – Eastern Conference Playoffs First Round, Game 2)
Rounding out our Top 3 is McGrady’s career night in April of 2003 against the Detroit Pistons. This was arguably T-Mac’s best postseason performance ever, as he logged a playoff career-high 46 points (on 16-of-26 from the floor), four three-pointers, five rebounds, an assist, and a steal in 45 minutes of action.
Nonetheless, it was Detroit that would come up with a 89-77 victory in this contest, despite McGrady’s heroics. The Magic would push this first-round matchup all the way to a Game 7, but would eventually fall short against a very formidable Pistons side.
#2 vs. Washington Wizards (Mar 10, 2014)
On one fateful evening in March of 2004, Tracy McGrady would log a career-high and franchise-high 62 points (on 20-of-37 shooting), five three-pointers, 10 rebounds, five assists, and a steal in 46 minutes of play. However, what made this performance so memorable is not only because T-Mac came out with the best offensive game of his entire career, but also, by eclipsing the 60-point mark, the seven-time All-Star entered the very exclusive 60-point club. At that time, there were only 16 other players who had achieved this scoring feat, and McGrady’s historic night ensured that he would be #17.
#1 vs. San Antonio Spurs (Dec 9, 2014)
Was there any question as to what McGrady’s all-time most dominant performance was? It just had to be the one thing he is remembered for the most: amazingly scoring 13 points in 33 seconds against Tim Duncan and company.
Not only is this one of McGrady’s most memorable moments as a pro, but this series of events also stands out as one of, if not the most astounding comeback victories in the history of the sport. Anyone who knows of T-Mac probably knows exactly how things went down in T-Mac’s 33-second barrage, so there’s really no point discussing the details anymore. For those who haven’t seen or heard of this before, then you are definitely in for a treat.
In 2017, McGrady was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. There was never really any doubt that his legacy would be immortalized by being enshrined as one of the biggest contributors to the sport of basketball, in no less than the most penultimate of recognizing bodies.
We had an absolute blast reliving McGrady’s most noteworthy performances during his playing days, and it would probably be safe to say that we’re never going to see another T-Mac ever again.