JaVale McGee‘s much heralded “length” was the primary antecedent for Denver’s $44 million investment for 1/3 of their center experiment. Even though Kosta Koufos is said (by George Karl) to be the most fundamentally sound center in Denver’s three-headed rotation at the five spot, and Timofey Mozgov is excellent at getting dunked on, it’s McGee that has most of us enthralled, and it’s not just because he’s so eccentric (although that Elmo backpack deserves it’s own profile).
The seven-foot McGee isn’t just blog fodder though. The son of former WNBA baller, Pamela McGee, JaVale’s genes gave him arms that could wrap around you and me a couple different times – his wingspan has been measured at 90.5 inches. That body is what’s so remarkable about McGee’s potential, and he’s shown flashes this season of living up to his prospective upside and new contract. Never more than last night though, when he went 8-for-12 from the field with three blocks in Denver’s loss to Phoenix.
Specifically, McGee showed us how fast he can get up and throw it down even when on the wing at an impossible dunking angle. If a defender is protecting the basket like he should, it might not matter. McGee’s arms are so long he can just dunk over people with his reach.
For that one, McGee was definitely jumping from outside the paint, but Marcin Gortat, perhaps attempting to avoid the Mozgov label, fell down before JaVale caught the ball, so the dunk’s power petered out. Thankfully, that wasn’t the only time McGee swept in from the left side, and this time, Gortat got to experience his length up close.
Not only did McGee get to throw it down with Gortat on his feet, but on the very next play – and with the announcers getting lyrical about what he could do with just a modicum of a post game – he back-cut on Markieff Morris and got a gorgeous lob from alley-oop maestro, Andre Miller.
JaVale McGee is still a nebulous player night-to-night, but like any nebula, it can only occur when a star is emitting it’s gaseous rays. There’s a star inside JaVale McGee possibly getting ready to shine.
Will McGee ever become an All-Star?
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