?T-Mac takes crap from the coach, just like everybody else. "Maybe more than everybody else," says Rivers. After Gooden threw away a third-quarter inbounds pass, Rivers stamped his feet and shouted, "T-Mac, you gotta move!" Rivers was right, and McGrady knew it—he hadn't given Gooden a passing angle. With about four minutes left, McGrady let Williamson sneak behind him for a layup and Rivers again shouted at him. Chastened, McGrady softly banked in an angle jumper at the other end, and, as he ran upcourt, held his palms up and looked at Rivers as if to say, O.K., we even now?
Still, McGrady is not much for false modesty. He knows how good he's been this season and made his MVP choice clear. "KG has another All-Star, Wally Szczerbiak," McGrady said before Game 1. "Tim [Duncan] and Kobe are dominant players on dominant teams—they could win it every year. But with what I accomplished individually and for my team, I think I deserve it."
The votes are in, and odds are he won't win it, but he certainly made a compelling case for his value on Sunday.