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Celtics Vs. Hawks: Tracy McGrady Potential X-Factor For Atlanta

This is the reason why Tracy McGrady was signed to be a member of the Atlanta Hawks.

The former phenom superstar of the Orlando Magic he isn't, but there are occasions where McGrady will show the flashes of greatness that made him a beloved NBA superstar. Nowadays, the Hawks just hope that McGrady can consistently come out and perform, bring more positive plays than negative ones.

McGrady sounds like he's up to the task as the Celtics playoff series tips off on Sunday.

"I'm excited about being a valuable part of this ball club. Yeah, I'm not that guy averaged 28, 29 points in the playoffs. But I'm still a valuable piece that comes off this bench. Considering it's my first year ever coming off the bench, it's a very uncomfortable role that I just wasn't familiar with and didn't really know how to approach it mentally. When you are playing inconsistent minutes . . . I'm not just built that way. That's why I think over the last couple weeks I've been more comfortable is because my minutes have been consistent. That's what it was all about. All I wanted was to have consistent minutes is to get me comfortable on the basketball games.

I'm not-and this is not a diss by any means to nobody-I'm not a guy like a Jason Terry or a James Harden that can come off the bench and right away and get to scoring. I read the game. I feel the game. I get guys involved, then that's how I get myself going. I think some people look at that as not being aggressive or not being valuable. But I see the game, I feel the game, and it's far from the truth. Just being able to know the flow of the game, I play with guys that can score, and can pass to guys spread around the perimeter that can shoot the ball. It's all about getting those guys going and then I pick my spots when it's time for me to score. I'm not that guy who is taking 15 to 20 shots." -- Tracy McGrady

McGrady's entire goal is to keep the Celtics wings working hard on the defensive end of the ball, namely Paul Pierce. If he can do that, then it makes Larry Drew's job that much easier.

For more on the Hawks-Celtics playoff series check out Peachtree Hoops andCelticsBlog. For more news and notes regarding the NBA Playoffs head over to SB Nation's NBA Basketball page.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.