On Wednesday I caught Tracy McGrady leaving the floor to ask him about the three-point shooting abilities of this Rocket team.
One player's shooting stroke has really caught his eye, and that's from 6-foot-10 rookie forward Steve Novak out of Marquette.
"I hate to really pump a rookie up, but so far he seems like the best shooter I've ever played with," said McGrady. "And that's really saying a lot because I've been with Jon Barry, I've been with Pat Garrity in Orlando. He's right up there with them."
On Thursday, I asked McGrady to elaborate more on that, but when I read back the comment to him I quoted him as saying that he "possibly" was the best shooter he's played with.
T-Mac more than clarified his words.
"No, he is," said McGrady. "I don't give a damn if he can't do nothing else. He can shoot, and I love the way he shoots. I don't care if he can't dribble, can't rebound, can't play defense... that kid can shoot the ball."
So does that mean he can't move with the ball, board or 'D' up?
"I don't know. I'm sure he can, but I'm just saying that the way he shoots the ball covers all of that."
I asked Novak what it was like to hear such high praise coming from an NBA superstar like McGrady.
"Obviously coming from a guy like that it means a lot," said Novak, who was selected by the Rockets in the second round of the 2006 Draft. "I need to know my role on the team and that's to get those guys open shots and to spread the floor for them. If I'm able to step out on the corner and knock down shots and he's happy with, then I'm definitely happy with my role."
Rockets head coach Jeff Van Gundy echoed the sentiments of McGrady about Novak's shooting ability, but said it will be up to the rookie on how he plays in other areas as to how much court time he will see.
"Certainly he's a great shooter. He can get it off quick," said Van Gundy. "[But] his ability to get on the floor will be based on his level of basketball IQ to overcompensate for a lack of athletic ability. Also how smart of a defender and rebounder he will be on the other end so that he doesn't get overwhelmed by power or quickness."