Wednesday , Feb , 27 , 2008 Oly Sandor

Yao’s Out, Now Or Never For Tracy McGrady


Yao's Out, Now Or Never For Tracy McGradyMy Very Quick AM Take: Now or never. Put up or shut up. These clichés apply to Houston’s Tracy McGrady who must carry the Rockets without All-Star Yao Ming.

Yesterday, Yao was diagnosed with a broken ankle and is out until next season. The burden of securing a playoff spot in the highly competitive Western Conference now rests on T-Mac’s slender shoulders.

In the past, McGrady has struggled being The Guy. He left Toronto because of Vince Carter’s shadow. His Florida homecoming ended with Orlando’s front office believing he was soft. And Houston has been a mixed bag of regular season successes and first round flameouts.

Fair or not, Yao’s injury provides McGrady another opportunity to prove his greatness. And after Tuesday’s practice, Yao even pulled him aside and said “now is your time."

Last night, the Rockets continued to roll. They blew-out a banged-up Wizards squad to push their winning streak to thirteen games.

If McGrady gets Houston in the playoffs, the cheesy clichés will no longer apply. Instead, he’ll have answered the star or superstar question that has dogged his career.

How will the Rockets do without Yao? Get at us in the comment box below. The AM Take is Oly’s morning thoughts on the NBA appearing Sunday through Friday on HoopsVibe.com. Errors can be attributed to the time and his need for another coffee.