"Ah, finally!" Rockets fans said. "Now we can compete for a championship with Ron Artest. With a healthy Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming, along with the core that won 22 straight last year, we're set for launch!"
Hold off on that "Go" code, there, boys and girls.
The Rockets' rational detractors (and Jazz fans) are always quick to poing out that a healthy Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming is pretty much an event horizon. As in, you know something's on the other side, but you can't actually see it.
Well those detractors have a little more ground after Monday's Rockets media day. Tracy McGrady was asked about his health and excellent Rockets blog Clutchfans.net has a rundown. Let's just say it wasn't exactly the most encouraging response. Apparently McGrady's knee is about "75-80%" and that its recovery took longer than McGrady had expected.
Oh, well, okay, sure, the knee's not so hot and that's a concern. But at least the rest of him is back to normal, right?
"My shoulder, after surgery, kept bothering me," said McGrady. "I had another MRI and discovered that I have arthritis in there so I got to have surgery again on my shoulder. That's something I have to deal with again this season."
McGrady will wait until next offseason to clear up the shoulder, and doesn't expect it to cause him to miss any games. Apparently, McGrady thinks that opposing defenders will imagine an invisible bubble or "force-field" around his shoulder and not make contact with it. If that's not the plan, I don't know how McGrady plans on not missing time.
The Rockets (again) have the talent to compete for an NBA championship. But they have to stay healthy (again) in order to get that far. At some point adding talent doesn't matter if you're cornerstones are busted.