On Sunday against the Detroit Pistons JaVale McGee had just two rebounds, both defensive, in over 30 minutes of play. He also contributed 12 points on 5-6 shooting (2-4 from the free-throw line), three blocks, a steal, an assist and a single foul to his stat line.
The rebounding? McGee lacked a lot of energy in the early going and simply wasn’t able to contribute past a couple flailing attempts at the ball. The Detroit big men – Greg Monroe, Chris Wilcox, Jason Maxiell and Charlie Villanueva — also seemed intent (or instructed) to be as physical as possible with McGee at every opportunity. And so goes the scouting report for JaVale: run with him, dissuade his athleticism with physicality, and either pump fake him or go into his body rendering him unable to block a shot. His effort changed in the third quarter, but the Wizards still lost to the Pistons 113-102, and the goal with McGee, as it is with the inexperienced Wizards as a whole, is a complete work of gamesmanship art. NBA players don’t get paid part-time.
McGee’s grinding progress continues to provide frequent repetitive mistakes. It’s no secret how other teams, coaches and players treat him in their preparation (and how that affects his game), and it’s no secret that McGee will sometimes make plenty of his gaffes on his own. Will he learn through continued frustration from fans, teammates and coaches? That’s up to him, but there are two abundant factors working in his favor: his franchise’s presence in rebuilding mode and plenty of playing time chances. Taking advantage, however, seemingly hasn’t always been a prevalent function of McGee’s basketball thought process.
Nonetheless, we plod on. The below video breaks down instances of the 23-year old center against the Pistons on Sunday … The Continued JaVale McGee Learning Experience. As Flip Saunders and the Wizards coaching staff continues to pound the stubborn rock sheltering McGee’s cerebral willingness, the familiarity of the lessons remains consistent.