JaVale McGee has played with a bunch of NBA point guards, if you use that term liberally. Gilbert Arenas, Randy Foye, Earl Boykins, Dee Brown, Mike James, Javaris Crittenton — not exactly the most pass-first bunch. Aside from a brief time spent receiving the ball from Shaun Livingston, McGee has mostly had to look out for himself on offense.
OK, that’s taking some liberties given that many of McGee’s non-dunk field goal attempts mimic a game of hot potato. This is largely of his own, impatient design. Still, he’s never played alongside the capabilities of someone like John Wall, a player who relishes in the assist.
“I know at least two out of three times I roll, I’m going to be getting the ball or he’s going to throw it up at the rim or he’s going to draw everybody to him when he lays it up, and I’m going to score and get the rebound,” McGee said after the Wizards’ 88-82 win over the Mavericks on Thursday evening.
But it’s not just about scoring opportunities for McGee; it’s about Wall’s ability to get those to rally around his energy and passion, also known as leadership. “When we go out there, we’re just together,” McGee said. “Everybody is just amped up because of his leadership and the way he’s amped up.”
“They loved to get assists; they both like to make everyone else on the team happy,” newest Wizard Hilton Armstrong said when asked what he knew about Wall’s game, considering his time with Chris Paul in New Orleans.
To play with Paul, you have to be focused on offense and always ready for a pass. Wall has the same ability to transfer focus upon McGee, a guy who’s shown the offensive tendency to hop on Oceanic Flight 815 en route to an island in his head.
“He has so much freedom. You never know what he’s going to do, but you know he’s going to make the right play,” McGee added. Sounds like a guy who has a lot more confidence in his point guard. Now if only Wall could get McGee to focus on defensive rebounding.