JaVale McGee Plays Sam Cassell, Now He's Gotta Improve His Defensive Rebounding | Wizards Blog Truth About

JaVale McGee Plays Sam Cassell, Now He’s Gotta Improve His Defensive Rebounding

Updated: July 9, 2010

After the Wizards’ second day of mini-camp, young JaVale McGee messed around a bit with old Sam Cassell for a couple rounds of one-on-one. Let’s check that real quick.

Otherwise, Epic Vale is working hard. And on Friday he was all tuckered out, needing to bend over when initially speaking with the media after the session. He even later Tweeted: “Man … tired ain’t the word … I’m tired as a house.”

Not sure what ‘tired as a house’ means. I imagine that the partied out house of a Miami Heat fan on a celebratory bender is pretty tired right now. Maybe McGee is that tired, except the basketball equivalent.

When speaking about JaVale this afternoon, Flip Saunders twice mentioned that he needs to work on his defensive rebounding. Seems like a pretty big emphasis. Last season, according to, the Wizards team defensive rebound percentage was 65% when McGee was on the court. That shot up to 71.6% when he was off the court. So that can’t be good.

Saunders went on to say, “As much from a strength standpoint, going against main type centers, he’s not as strong as some of those guys so he gets pushed around. What happens is he gets in foul trouble so quick and that takes him out of his game. He’s going to have to learn to play at our level and be able to play as far as from the beginning.”

This we knew. The Washington Examiner’s Craig Stouffer followed up by asking Flip if that’s something he thinks McGee can develop this summer. The coach simply replied, “He’s going to have to.”

We can only hope. Click on these links for suggested statistical reads on both McGee’s offense and defense last season.

Afterward JaVale spoke with the press (video below). Here are the highlights:

  • Said he put on 7 lbs. and is up to 257.
  • When asked what about John Wall has impressed him the most, McGee said he draws a lot of attention so he can make plays for others.
  • JaVale was asked who in the NBA he would compare Wall to … he said Gilbert Arenas, “except Gil got more range.”
  • He was asked what last year taught him in terms of what he needs to work on for next season. McGee said, “Just get stronger and get patience.”
  • I asked JaVale what he thinks of Hamady N’diaye, he said, “He looks like a young me.”  After the video cuts off, the Post’s Michael Lee pointed out that N’diaye (born January 12, 1987) is actually older than McGee (born January 19, 1988). People then giggled.
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Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.