http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/spo ... l?rss=true
All those pointing at Tracy McGrady for the Rockets' failures in their playoff series against the Utah Jazz and his inability to get beyond the first round in six previous playoff appearances heard a surprising voice join their cause Wednesday.
McGrady blamed himself.
Mocking those who blame him, McGrady joined the chorus.
"It's my fault," McGrady said. "It's my fault we missed free throws. It's my fault we lost both games. Blame me. It's my fault we fouled to tie the game up. That's my fault. It's my fault they get easy layups. It's my fault we're not executing well on the offensive end. It's my fault a couple people in the stands ordered Heinekens and they got Budweiser. It's my fault. I'm sorry."
Told the beer reference might have revealed his straight-faced sarcasm, McGrady rolled on.
"I am serious," he said. "It's my fault. Everything is my fault. It's my fault. It's T-Mac's fault.
"Everybody's blaming me. The Suns (for being down 2-0 to the Spurs). I mean, everybody. That's what it seems like. It's my fault. I'm out there by myself."
McGrady carried the Rockets for three quarters on Monday, combining 22 points with 10 rebounds and nine assists. He had one point, three rebounds and no assists in the fourth quarter as the Rockets fell into a 2-0 hole going into Game 3 at Utah tonight.
In the first two games, McGrady is 0-for-7 shooting in the fourth quarter, prompting more debate on his play in this and past postseasons.
"I'm in a tough position," McGrady said. "If I go out and try to be passive and we're not making shots, then we're in a hole. If I am aggressive and I have to stay that way, then fourth quarter, I'm worn out, don't have the lift I do in the first three quarters. It's a tough situation to be in.
"Story of my season or my playoff career."
This has become a greater issue in light of the Rockets' playing the first two games of the series without Yao Ming and Rafer Alston.
"That's another one of my faults: that Rafer got hurt and Yao got hurt," McGrady said. "It's my fault. I'm sorry.
"Even some of the guys can't even believe it. I was talking to one of the guys, and he was like, 'I would hate to be you. I really can't believe what some of the people say about you, especially after playing the game you played the other night.' They can't believe it."
Coach Rick Adelman also seemed surprised by the criticism but said he was not concerned that it would affect McGrady's approach or performance.
"He's got a lot on his shoulders right now, no matter what he does," Adelman said. "He almost got a triple-double, and it still wasn't good enough. He's going to be fine. He's pretty tough mentally. He'll get through it."
McGrady also said he will not change the way he plays. Though he made it clear he was extremely aware of the criticism, he said it doesn't bother him.
"I've got to keep on doing what I do," he said. "I can't even worry about that."
McGrady did acknowledge that if the Rockets win, he will be given excessive credit.
"You said it, man. That's it," McGrady said. "If we win that game (Monday) night — despite me scoring only one point in the fourth quarter — if we win that game, oh, I had an awesome game, an unbelievable game. If we win, I made my teammates better, I rebounded, I played defense. That would have been the story line. But because we lost ...
"I can't do nothing about it."
Told that his childhood hero, Magic Johnson, had praised him on the TNT broadcast, McGrady said that will do.
"If Magic Johnson liked my game," McGrady said, "then damn what everyone else says."
Damn.............we get it.............shut up already.