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View Full Version : Who was the better SG - James Harden vs Clyde Drexler vs Tracy McGrady?



FlashBolt
03-20-2017, 11:16 PM
Who's been the better player?

mightybosstone
03-20-2017, 11:41 PM
Harden by a mile. Neither McGrady nor Drexler played their peak basketball in Houston. James is the greatest guard and/or wing player in the history of the Rockets, and it's not even close. If you consider Drexler and McGrady's careers outside of Houston, obviously this is a different conversation. But Harden is slowly climbing that all-time SG list, and at the pace he's going, he could feasibly end up with better careers than both of those guys.

FlashBolt
03-21-2017, 12:11 AM
Harden by a mile. Neither McGrady nor Drexler played their peak basketball in Houston. James is the greatest guard and/or wing player in the history of the Rockets, and it's not even close. If you consider Drexler and McGrady's careers outside of Houston, obviously this is a different conversation. But Harden is slowly climbing that all-time SG list, and at the pace he's going, he could feasibly end up with better careers than both of those guys.

Yeah, just realized that T-Mac/Drexler were pretty much finished by the time they got to Houston. I'll get the title changed. Btw, I don't think there is any doubt where Harden would rank as a SG when his career ends. I can easily see him being a top 5 SG right behind Jordan, Kobe, Wade, and West.

Jeffy25
03-21-2017, 12:48 AM
Harden pretty easily.

WS/48
Harden - .229
Drexler - .160
McGrady - 143

Win Shares
Harden - 68.9
Drexler - 26.9
McGrady - 33.2

PER
Harden - 25.2
Drexler - 20.2
McGrady - 21.1


If these stats were closer, we could start to discuss it, but it's not even remotely close.

Drexler was past his prime in Houston and McGrady didn't have his best legs then, though he had some awesome seasons, just not a lot of time to add to it.

Vinylman
03-21-2017, 12:21 PM
I thought Drexler and Tmac played SF?

mrblisterdundee
03-21-2017, 12:27 PM
I take this to mean who's been the best throughout their career, not just in Houston. Harden's already approaching McGrady's impact, but let's pump the brakes on him already passing by Drexler. He has a ways to go, and at least one Finals to reach. I do think that when he's had 15 seasons in the NBA, like Drexler and McGrady, Harden will be considered the best of the group, despite never measuring up defensively.

mightybosstone
03-21-2017, 01:22 PM
I take this to mean who's been the best throughout their career, not just in Houston. Harden's already approaching McGrady's impact, but let's pump the brakes on him already passing by Drexler. He has a ways to go, and at least one Finals to reach. I do think that when he's had 15 seasons in the NBA, like Drexler and McGrady, Harden will be considered the best of the group, despite never measuring up defensively.

Yeah, I don't think anyone's ranking Harden ahead of Drexler when you compare their careers at this point. Clearly Harden is the best SG in terms of their Houston careers, though, and I don't think that's debatable. Only time will tell if Harden ends up surpassing Drexler overall, but I do think Harden will end up with the strongest peak of the three players. An MVP would certainly help his case, but I don't know if Harden will have the team success that Drexler had in Portland and Houston.

PowerHouse
03-21-2017, 01:50 PM
Its interesting to compare Drexler with Harden because of how similar they are. Both great and very efficient offensively, both uninterested and lackadaisical defensively. Drexler's steals numbers were always very high but, similar to Harden, thats attributed to a lot of gambling and ball-hawking in the passing lanes. Harden is a better all-round player in terms of the passing and rebounding but Drexler had more impressive athleticism.

If Harden stays healthy he will rank higher than Drex on the all time list.

JasonJohnHorn
03-21-2017, 07:58 PM
Drexler. Solid defender. Great all around player. He wasn't a strong 3pt shooter throughout his career, but as the NBA started shifting, he developed that part of his game (though they did bring the 3pt line in around that time).

I also feel like he was a better leader and team player. I'm not trying to knock the others guys, because I feel like there are things each of them can do that the others can't, and McGrady put up a few seasons that were just insane statistically, and Harden is doing the same now, but Drexler had some really impressive team success and show a lot of maturity and patience on the court and in the process of team building that I think McGrady never had. And Drexler had a defensive commitment and leadership ability that I don't think either Harden or McGrady had (though I do think McGrady was a respectable defender).

That said... I gotta see more of Harden. He's in his prime. I need to see what he does with this before I can compare him with McGrady and Drexler.


The thing with McGrady, is he bolted a winning situation where he could have done something really special in Toronto. Then he complained about not being in a winning situation in Orlando and bolted when they draft Dwight. He could have been playing with Dwight instead of Yao Ming. that would have been interesting. Rather than taking players and leading the, and playing into a team system, he just kept jumping ship. Drexler stuck it out with Portland and was rewarded with two finals appearances, and he was lucky and made the most out of the Houston situation. I know team success is part luck of the draw, but McGrady HAD that luck and twice bolted rather than playing alongside a prime Carter (which would have rivaled Jordan/Pippen) and then bolted because he didn't want to 'wait' for Dwight to get good. Ironically, the Magic one more playoff series during McGrady's time in Houston than the Rockets did, just as the Raptors one more playoff series than the Magic and Rockers did combined during McGrady's time.

I just feel like McGrady played for his own personal stats. That might be unfair, but I'll take Drexler over him for that reason above all others. Also... McGrady may have had seven great seasons, but Drexler had 13 or 14 great years. That gives you a bigger window as well.

Harden... we'll see. Not sure I'll rank him above Drexler, but this year statistically is likely more impressive than any single season Drexler posted. But defense counts for a lot with me. Jordan had to fight Drexler to get those big games. Harden would had been a cake walk for Jordan. It would have been comical.

Chronz
03-21-2017, 10:28 PM
Both Tmac and Drexler were better than anything Harden has shown thus far and I include Houston in that. Hes definitely the better, more durable regular season player tho

mightybosstone
03-21-2017, 11:13 PM
Both Tmac and Drexler were better than anything Harden has shown thus far and I include Houston in that. Hes definitely the better, more durable regular season player tho
Take away T-Mac's one amazing peak season in Orlando, and the rest of his peak and prime don't even touch Harden. That one season was an anomaly. And while I think the guy was a top 50 all-time player and easily a top 10 all-time SG, I think Harden's peak is already stronger and he'll easy pass McGrady by the end of his career.

europagnpilgrim
03-22-2017, 12:06 AM
Phi Slam-ma Jam-ma
TMac
Harden

career wise its Drexler, if I had to choose 1 player to build around with a healthy 10 yrs it would be TMAC

I wish G Hill would have stayed healthy and Duncan went ahead and went to Disney as he almost did, they would have won at least 3 titles or at worst been to 3 Finals to try to

Harden can ball and is proving it now and with OKC but I feel those other two are better 2way players, its not a huge gap but starting from scratch I would roll with Glyde/TMAC Attack

kingsdelez24
03-22-2017, 08:21 AM
Tmac was a lot better and more committed on d than Harden. In todays era, Tmac would have had a better and longer peak

DanG
03-22-2017, 08:29 AM
When will people actually start watching games and stop ranking players based on WS/48 and PER?

Why is Klay Thompson, a top 20 player, ranked #92 in PER and #110 in WS/48?

Louis Williams 16-17
PER: 22.8
WS/48: .162

Klay Thompson 16-17
PER: 17.3
WS/48: .125

Westbrook is putting up a 30.2 PER and no one honestly is giving a ****.

These stats have little to no meaning.

Chronz
03-22-2017, 08:55 AM
Take away T-Mac's one amazing peak season in Orlando, and the rest of his peak and prime don't even touch Harden. That one season was an anomaly. And while I think the guy was a top 50 all-time player and easily a top 10 all-time SG, I think Harden's peak is already stronger and he'll easy pass McGrady by the end of his career.

He's smashes on Harden. It was no anomaly, he just declined athletically and faced way more defensive attention via the rules in place. Harden definitely more durable better day 2 day in the RS tho.

mightybosstone
03-22-2017, 10:21 AM
He's smashes on Harden. It was no anomaly, he just declined athletically and faced way more defensive attention via the rules in place. Harden definitely more durable better day 2 day in the RS tho.

One great regular season does not make a great player. If you look at the totality of McGrady's career, he was excellent. He was a top 10 guy for the majority of his career and a legitimate MVP candidate that one season. But that was it. Whereas Harden has already made a case for MVP in two separate seasons and established a far more consistent peak and prime. Harden's the better 3-point shooter, the more efficient scorer and the better playmaker. And, unlike Drexler, McGrady doesn't have the team success to back up his career.

I'm sorry, but I totally fail to see how McGrady "smashes" Harden. Harden's accomplished more in his five seasons in Houston than McGrady accomplished in his entire career both from an individual standpoint and a team standpoint. And, bottom line, Harden has just been far more productive in those five seasons than any five seasons of McGrady's career.

rhino17
03-22-2017, 10:31 AM
tmac is the definitive 3rd out of these guys. Mac was in his prime in Houston and Harden has already far surpassed anything tracy ever did.

The real question is drexler and Harden, when its all over, Harden will be #1

Chronz
03-22-2017, 11:15 PM
One great regular season does not make a great player.
Its a good thing I never took that position then. I look at the totality of Harden's career and I see a durable beast whos consistently shriveled come post season. His "Team Success" was hilarious as I saw first hand how his team saved his ***. His greatest post season run was a farce despite what you think the numbers are saying. We judge players differently man, the numbers aren't that important to me when it comes to Harden. Wake me up when he leads his team and plays elite level defense, until then his utter no show/cancerous play in the Finals, him quitting only for his coach to bench him and the ensuing come back are his biggest moments aside his ho-hum first round exits. I really dont see why I would care about MVP caliber campaigns when they had different competition and circumstances.

I've agreed, hes a more durable RS player tho, hes better able to handle the rigors of a season which lead to good stats but each player in playoff form, gimme the guy who has more consistently raised his game against the toughest of environments. Harden plays in the wide open NBA of today and hasn't done enough with it IMO. Bottom line, Harden has alot of work to do before he can touch these swings, the guy has underachieved throughout his career. I wont bash his defense because Tmac could be a sieve when he was disinterested, but wake me up when Harden absolutely clamps down on the opposition, cuz Tmac had that ability and THAT talent is the separating factor for me. I dont think Harden will ever be the 2-way versatile beast Tmac could be at his best.


As for Drexler, his championship is pretty underrated. I dont know if Harden will ever be able to touch such an accomplishment/impact, even if he appears to be the more dominant player statistically.

Chronz
03-22-2017, 11:22 PM
tmac is the definitive 3rd out of these guys. Mac was in his prime in Houston and Harden has already far surpassed anything tracy ever did.

The real question is drexler and Harden, when its all over, Harden will be #1
In his "prime", Tmac was never on a team that could bench him and then see it win a playoff game. In fact, despite having a bonafide star in Yao, the Rockets were actually very pitiful in the minutes/games that Tmac didn't play, they had a truly ****** record if he wasn't out there. When it came to impact, even a lesser Tmac had it in spades. It wasn't until later in his career that the Rockets were that good.

Then you consider what he was in Orlando and its not even close. Well, I guess I should say how close the debate depends on what you value, sustained time put in or who actually attained a higher a level of play.

GREATNESS ONE
03-22-2017, 11:26 PM
I thought Drexler and Tmac played SF?

They did.

GREATNESS ONE
03-22-2017, 11:27 PM
When will people actually start watching games and stop ranking players based on WS/48 and PER?

Why is Klay Thompson, a top 20 player, ranked #92 in PER and #110 in WS/48?

Louis Williams 16-17
PER: 22.8
WS/48: .162

Klay Thompson 16-17
PER: 17.3
WS/48: .125

Westbrook is putting up a 30.2 PER and no one honestly is giving a ****.

These stats have little to no meaning.

It's been happening for year, it's hilarious tbh.

Chronz
03-23-2017, 01:11 AM
They did.

Its often said they could swing between positions but there must be some sort of importance on it. Like Harden moved to PG this year in a D'Antoni offense, his production jumped in accordance. Thats just the 1 but could Harden play the 3 or would he be exposed defensively to a higher degree? With Tmac, I do remember when the Rockets traded Jim Jackson for the diminutive David Wesley and that the move to the frontcourt coincided with the Rockets improving overall. Maybe Tmac wasn't really a SG at this time.

PhillyFaninLA
03-23-2017, 10:17 AM
James Harden isn't in the same ball park of Mcgrady or Drexler

I want to put Drexler as the best on the list, but given an entire healthy career McGrady probably would be the best on the list, followed not to far by Drexler and Harden sitting in the nose bleed seats having to buy a ticket after saving allowance money for a year.

AntiG
03-24-2017, 02:40 PM
If you're talking career/overall as a player, its Drexler easily. If not for MJ he would have been on a lot more posters. Basically from the late 80s until the end of his Blazers run, he was the 2nd best player in the league.

If you're talking Rockets career, then sure its Harden despite his defense.