Hello JaVale McGee. There You Are, Staring Dudes Down
First, JaVale McGee blocks.
We (I/you/us/them) have found cause to critique JaVale McGee to a high degree this season. It’s just when you combine immense talent and potential with a seeming unwillingness to learn and/or an inability to grow in basketball IQ, the way of the world is done an injustice without an honest assessment.
So, when McGee finally does “put it together,” also known as when he stops doing stupid things (like JaVale’s dribbles), you’ll appreciate how much he’s grown even more. All of this could be a bunch of bull to make myself feel better about my criticism. It also could be an “it is what it is” situation*.
The Wizards want JaVale McGee on that line, they need him on that line. They need him to get better because in totality, his improvement this season has been a slight disappointment. But rebuilding time is time afforded to go through these frustrations. So it’s all good … as long as McGee kicks butt this summer.
He’s done a lot better lately. One day he could be consistently amazing to watch. Oh the day dreams. Although, his mere five rebounds in 36 minutes against the Miami Heat on Wednesday night stands out from the 15.3 boards he averaged in the previous four games (on the road against the LA Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors and Utah Jazz). The quality of the opponent should be considered, but McGee still made his presence felt against the Heat, in the form of sweet, sweet blocks.
He’s not going to back down from trying to swat any shot, most of the time. Great teams need that, intelligently. Let’s tell some stories about McGee versus Miami with the help of pictures.
Sam Cassell instructs on a failure in the defensive rotation.
Chris Bosh made this shot. Imagine trying to do that at your size.
My camera happened to be too zoomed in to capture McGee’s block of Chris Bosh, but I did catch the stare down.
McGee is about to block Dwyane Wade. Notice his off arm. He has honed his shot-blocking technique to not reach out with it and to establish the ground he’s holding. Kid is a damn good field-goal repellent.
Then the stare-down. Sam Cassell loves it.
Then Chris Bosh got smart the next time and pump faked. I got the picture of the dunk, but who cares about dunks like a Bosh?
At one point LeBron James was going to drive to the basket against McGee…
…but then he thought better of it.
Then LeBron said ‘I’m LeBron’ and beat McGee to the baseline, allowing himself to get bumped by the gangly JaVale. Yep, the ref legitimately blew the whistle.
We’re going to end on this (didn’t count).
*(via Mike Miller)