“I block shots, I dunk on people, and I get out the way.”
JaVale McGee knows who he is and why he’s here. He compared his feelings about playing alongside the Lakers’ multitude of ball-handlers to “being at a Vegas buffet” and he’s been feasting off of the opportunities that they create for him.
McGee’s Preseason Play Types
Let’s take a closer look at McGee’s strong preseason.
McGee’s screens are a welcome relief after years of poor efforts from Lakers’ bigs in that aspect of the game, and they create opportunities for both himself and his teammates. His athletic ability is easy to identify, but he doesn’t get enough credit for his understanding of passing angles. He “banana cuts” to the basket on his rolls, allowing him to linger in passing windows for more extended periods of time.
He’s been solid defensively, although not without flaws. He becomes mostly floor-bound if an offensive player initiates contact with him first and misses the occasional hedge on pick and rolls, but his shot-blocking (2.8 swats per-36 minutes in the preseason) has helped to ignite the Lakers’ fast break, where he thrives as a rim-runner....