Believe it or not, Tracy McGrady actually played 52 games for the Atlanta Hawks back in 2011-12. Let’s take a look at how his stint with the team went.
After a couple of rocky seasons battling injuries and Father Time, it seemed as if the career of Tracy McGrady was approaching the end. Not giving the same impact that he once did during his Orlando and Houston days, McGrady was shipped around the association numerous times before finding himself on the Atlanta Hawks in 2011.
The Hawks were coming off of a 6 game Conference Semifinal Loss to the Chicago Bulls and were looking for ways to become stronger.
They signed veteran Eric Dampier to help under the basket and signed McGrady to provide offense from the perimeter. Although T-Mac had some rough goings with New York and Detroit the two seasons prior, the veteran guard was looking to redeem himself in a Hawks uniform.
Through the first portion of the season, McGrady was giving quality minutes for the Hawks and it got the team out to a pretty decent start. He was only getting around 19-20 minutes a game but he seemed to have made the most of the time he was on the court.
On January 2, McGrady scored 16 points against the Miami Heat and had a great 4th quarter scoring 13 of his points in the final 12 minutes. From throwing a lob to Josh Smith, to hitting three three-pointers late in the game, McGrady became the driving force in a late-game rally and the Hawks got a huge win in South Beach.
Atlanta was looking to be on top of the East after their impressive start to the season. They were competing on both ends of the floor and were shooting the ball at a high percentage. But it was only a matter of time before things would start to shift for this Atlanta team, putting themselves in a hole before playoff time.
After a pretty impressive start to the season, McGrady’s performance began to be rather inconsistent throughout the rest of the season. His minutes began to dwindle even more and it seemed as if his confidence was lost from then on.
McGrady would finish the season averaging a career-low 5.3 points per game in 52 games played in the lockout season. It was a struggle, to say the least, but McGrady was able to finish the season and was looking at becoming a better contributor in the postseason.
Atlanta would finish the season at 40-26, good enough for the 5th best record in the Eastern Conference. Even with solid production out of Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, and Al Horford, the star players were going to need big-time contribution from guys like McGrady and the rest of the supporting cast.
Although the Hawks were going to face an ageing Boston Celtics team, they were going to need everyone on the same page in order to make it past the first round. Unfortunately, If you thought McGrady would turn things around in the playoffs, you would have thought wrong.
Although the Hawks stole the first game on their home floor, the team struggled the rest of the series and McGrady would, unfortunately, twist his ankle forcing him to be a non-contributor the rest of the series. The Hawks would go on to lose to the Celtics 4-2 to cap off another failure to reach expectations that was set before the season started.
This would be McGrady’s only season with Atlanta. Even though he was a shell of himself for most of the year, he did show flashbacks from time to time reminding the world how lethal he once was. Many Hawks fans will remember Tracy McGrady’s tenure in an Atlanta uniform. But to the rest of the NBA world, it is more likely a point in McGrady’s career that is rather forgettable.