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The difference between Tracy McGrady and Trevor Ariza

[NOTE: This post is intended as a supplement to ‘Assessing Ariza.’]

The media is largely culpable for the unreasonable expectations surrounding Houston Rockets guard Trevor Ariza.

Without fail, virtually every fluff piece pertaining to the acquisition made some comparison to Tracy McGrady’s emergence with Orlando.

Beyond the surface, there are very few commonalities between the two circumstances.

The premise that Ariza could make a progression similar to that of Tracy McGrady really underestimates the unique talent of the latter. McGrady didn’t just suck in Toronto, practice over the off-season, and blow up the next year. Unfortunately, this seems to be the accepted historical narrative.

McGrady entered the league with a very high skill level but did not get the opportunity to display his talents in the Raptors’ system in Vince Carter’s shadow.

Of course, McGrady did gain strength and improve his shooting and footwork with Orlando. But he already had the elite level ball handling abilities which afforded him a basic framework of capabilities through which he was able to develop a full-fledged offensive arsenal. McGrady simply needed the chance to unleash his talents.

Therein lies the difference with Ariza. Trevor has been in the league for quite some time and has never demonstrated any potential to score off the dribble. If it were ever to happen, we probably would have seen hints of it already, with Trevor now at age 24.

It’s very possible that Trevor expands certain facets of his game (as he has clearly improved his shooting), but he almost undoubtedly will never become an elite overall offensive threat.

About the author: Rahat Huq is a lawyer in real life and the founder and editor-in-chief of www.Red94.net.

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