Now that Tracy McGrady has played in the second round, who’s the best active player never to do so?

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Ten years after he said “It feels good to get in the second round,” Tracy McGrady finally played in the second round of an NBA playoff series.

Now a role player with the Spurs, McGrady played the final 51 seconds of San Antonio’s Game 2 loss Wednesday.

He never led a team to the second round, which he certainly seemed more than capable of doing at his peak, but the oft-mocked McGrady will at least escape some criticism by playing Wednesday. Prior, he was the only member of the top 18 active players based on win shares not to reach the second round.

So now that McGrady is no longer the best active player never to appear in the second round, who is?

Judging players based on career accomplishments is probably the most sound sorting method. That way, players like Kyrie Irving at least have a chance before we stick this label on him.

Unsurprisingly, the field of top players who’ve never played in the second round is very thin.

Here are the top 66 active players by win shares:

pbt mcgrady second round

McGrady is represented by the black bar.

The three red bars designate players who’ve never reached the second round. Andre Miller – No. 19 among active players in win shares – leads by a wide margin. Though he never neared the same peaks, Miller is actually just behind McGrady. Other contenders include LaMarcus Aldridge (No. 56) and Al Jefferson (No. 59).

David Lee (No. 52) made his first playoff Friday night against the Spurs, so he’s now safe from replacing McGrady.

Perhaps I’m being too generous to Miller, who was arguably the Cavaliers’ best player at one point, but LaMarcus Aldridge might want to win a playoff series before he starts to receive the same criticism McGrady faced.

Celtics to retire Paul Pierce’s number after Cavaliers game in February

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The Celtics already said they’d retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34.

Now, we know when.

Celtics release:

The Boston Celtics announced today that they will retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34 after a mid-season game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, Feb. 11

After? That’s apparently in response to a new rule that penalizes teams not ready to play after a 15-minute halftime. These ceremonies can drag on, and nobody wants to cut Pierce short. I wonder whether this will start a trend of number retirements coming after games.

DeMarcus Cousins on Confederate statues: ‘Take all them motherf—ers down’

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DeMarcus Cousins grew up in Alabama, played collegiately at Kentucky and now plays in New Orleans.

So, yeah, the Pelicans star has an opinion on Confederate statues.

Cousins, via TMZ:

“Take all them motherf*ckers down,” Cousins said … “Take ’em all down.”

These statues glorify people because they fought a war against the United States in the name of preserving the racist institution of slavery.

Not whom I want to honor, either.

Kevin Durant: Kyrie Irving-LeBron James situation ‘just a regular NBA problem’

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Kevin Durant knows something about star teammates not always getting along.

So, the Warriors forward is not freaking out about the disconnect between Kyrie Irving and LeBron James and Irving’s subsequent trade request.

Durant, via Chris Haynes of ESPN:

“It’s just a regular NBA problem, right? A lot of teams have gone through this before,” Durant told ESPN. “They’ll figure it out. That’s a great organization, a championship organization. They’ll figure it out.”

“It’s not the end of the world,” Durant said. “Both of those guys won a championship together. They love each other. If Kyrie wants to do something else, that’s on him. I’m sure whatever happens, it’ll work out for the best for both of them. But it’s just a normal NBA problem. It’s just two big stars that it’s happening to.”

Durant is definitely right in the larger sense. Teammates spat and requests trades more often than we realize. Remember, both Irving and the Cavaliers probably prefer this never became public.

But I’m not sure Cleveland will figure this out with the ease Durant suggests. David Griffin, who had proven so adept at putting out these fires, is gone. LeBron’s free agency looms. This could be extremely destructive to the Cavs.

The fact that this “regular NBA problem” became public only intensifies it – and raises it something greater.

Report: Heat signing Jordan Mickey

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Jordan Mickey – the No. 33 pick by the Celtics in 2015 – became the first second-round pick in memory to sign the year he was drafted and receive a higher initial salary than first-round picks.

He’s keeping the checks coming.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Mickey will be the Heat’s 16th player with a standard contract, though Matt Williams (unguaranteed) will likely be waived to meet the regular-season roster limit.

I’m not sure where Mickey fits on this team, which already has several bigs. Hassan Whiteside, Bam Adebayo and Kelly Olynyk will likely play ahead of him. Miami also has A.J. Hammons (who might be just dead salary) and Udonis Haslem (who might provide nothing more than veteran leadership).

The Heat could just see Mickey as someone they can develop. At that point, how he fits into the current roster doesn’t really matter.

Mickey – 6-foot-8 with a 7-foot-3 wingspan – is a mobile defender with nice timing for blocking shots inside. He even possesses a work-in-progress 3-pointer in his arsenal. There’s plenty for Miami to help mold.