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JaVale McGee added to Team USA trials

What happens in Vegas has a way of keeping JaVale McGee in Vegas. For the second consecutive year, McGee amazed fans at Thomas & Mack Arena with his incredible athleticism and awe-inspiring dunks, and cashed in his impressive summer league performance for an invitation to USA Men's National team training camp.


I might want to change my name to JaVegas. (AP Photo)

McGee, a third-year center, was added to the 22-man roster that will compete this week in Las Vegas for spots on the World Championships squad this summer in Turkey. He averaged 19.5 points and 9.3 rebounds in four games, all wins, for the Wizards last week in Las Vegas.

Unlike last season, when he participated in mini-camp with the select team -- after averaging 17.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and four blocked shots -- McGee will have a chance to become part of the 12-man team. McGee's addition is based largely on the dearth of big men available, with Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh and Carlos Boozer - the three front court players on the 2008 Olympic gold medal team - all declining invitations to participate this summer.

Portland forward LaMarcus Aldridge also backed out last week, forcing the selection committee to invite newly acquired Dallas Mavericks center Tyson Chandler and Phoenix Suns reserve Robin Lopez. The remaining forwards and centers on the roster include New York Knicks forward Amaré Stoudemire, Los Angeles Lakers forward Lamar Odom, New Jersey Nets center Brook Lopez and Minnesota's Kevin Love. The trials will take place through Friday.

"It was based on his showing in Vegas; he's a big. We wanted to add him," Team USA chairman Jerry Colangelo said about McGee.

No. 1 overall pick John Wall was not invited, with the team already boasting point guards Derrick Rose, Chauncey Billups, Rajon Rondo and Russell Westbrook. Rookie of the year Tyreke Evans and runner-up Stephen Curry are also in the mix, making it difficult for Wall to break through this summer.

"As far as Wall is concerned, as well as he's played here, we did not extend any invitations to any kids coming out of the draft this year," Colangelo said. "Plus, we have a lot of point guards that we were committed to. Obviously, he's on our radar screen going forward, for sure, but not for this cycle, for picking a team for the World Championships this summer. Going forward, we'll be watching John's progress. But with all the point guards, we have a lot of guys who have equity already."


By Michael Lee  |  July 19, 2010; 3:21 PM ET
Categories:  JaVale McGee , John Wall  
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Next: John Wall discusses summer league performance

Comments

I watched a number of the NBA summer league games on the NBA channel. A number of their different announcers were really talking about McGee and his improvement.

This seems to be the only place where I see nothing but nitpicking about his game. I quess our in house experts here know more then Coach K and USA Basketball. For the guy to get an invite to camp is an acknowledgement of his potential and his hard work to development it...
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | July 19, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Apparently these boards are the only place where going 19/9 on 69%FG doesnt impress people.

Posted by: divi3 | July 19, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Its a great opportunity for Javale to Learn from one of the best coaches in the college game. I don't think he will make the roster with the lopez bros, Love, and Stoudemire but its a great learning experience.

Posted by: jefferu | July 19, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

This seems to be the only place where I see nothing but nitpicking about his game. I quess our in house experts here know more then Coach K and USA Basketball.
Posted by: flohrtv

A) *Most* of the nitpicking here has to do with seeing the potential and waiting on it to blossom fully.

B) He was invited last time too. No doubt he has eye-popping potential. But everyone who watches him on a regular basis acknowledges that he has a lot of things to work on....defensive rebounding, not going for ball-fakes, a go-to post move, etc.

C) It also speaks a bit to the current dearth of centers for the US team. We were almost overwhelmed a bit by size in China. The Chinese and Spanish teams gave us problems with the height and length. McGee gives them another long, athletic shot-blocker.

I would be a little surprised if McGee makes it this time. But the experience should be great for him, and I'm sure they're looking at him at the least as someone who could contribute down the road.

Posted by: ts35 | July 19, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Apparently these boards are the only place where going 19/9 on 69%FG doesnt impress people.

Posted by: divi3

A 3rd year professional going for 19/9 in essentially the D-League extended doesn't overwhelmingly impress me, no. There are definitely things that McGee did though where he showed improvement.

Posted by: ts35 | July 19, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

He seems like he'd be ok for the international game as it encourages bigs to face up rather than post. Facing up his man just outside that rhombus is what he appears to consider his sweet spot. That and striding from the FT line to the rim in 2 steps

Posted by: divi3 | July 19, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Good luck to McGee! He will need to make a really good showing both defensively and offensively, as there are some good centers ahead of him.

But even if he just plays with the practice squad, he will have done a service for his country.


Posted by: rickgonz | July 19, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Maybe. But his propensity for going for ball-fakes and getting into early foul trouble will be just much of a problem. I'm not trying to nit-pick too much, whether he makes it or not, it should be a great experience for him. Even just being around some of those other guys for a while, and getting exposed to other coaches.

Posted by: ts35 | July 19, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

This is great for Javale's confidence. We all
know he has the potential to be a bright spot
for us down the road.

I believe Wall will help McGee tremendously

Posted by: grayterrence | July 19, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

i dont want him to make the team, but hopefully he can make a name for himself amongst the other players at practice and set the table for this season and beyond.

Posted by: divi3 | July 19, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

it's easy to be too hard on Mcgee because of the jaw dropping potential everyone sees in him.

Have to keep in mind he's only played 2100 nba minutes and nothing significant til the 2nd half of last year. He wasnt handed starter burn like higher picks receive, our boy Yi for instance is ostensibly the same age and has already played 4700 minutes.

If Javale improves 10-15% over his next 2000 minutes, future is bright indeed. He and Wall can grow together

Posted by: divi3 | July 19, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

"I believe Wall will help McGee tremendously."

Been saying it for years now, a good point guard makes everyone better.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | July 19, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Does this help JaTravel at all, or is JaTravel better served spending his time with a big man coach? I choose the latter.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 19, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Does this help JaTravel at all, or is JaTravel better served spending his time with a big man coach? I choose the latter.

Posted by: DC_MAN88

I thought you've already determined that the Wizards won't be upgrading their big man's coaching, so, from your perspective, what's the difference?

Posted by: ts35 | July 19, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

The Ernest Grunfeld Era is off to a resounding start!!

JaVale McGee is yet another gem unearthed by our Ernest Grunfeld and he's ready to make his mark on the basketball world. This is the year. I've always said that Ernest's eye for talent is unrivaled. Can you believe that the off-key crooners are still saying that Ernest wouldn't know a good draft if it came up to him and introduced itself? Preposterous.

Ernest Grunfled has the moxie to excel at building a winner and, make no mistake about it, the Wizards will be one soon!

The Wizards bandwagon still has a flashing vacancy sign on it. Climb aboard while you can.

In Grunfeld We Trust!!

Posted by: melodious_thunk | July 19, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

To get a second invite demonstrates an openness to coaching that I've always thought suspect in McGee. Good for him. Having other voices in his ear can only be a good thing.

Posted by: djnnnou | July 19, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

@melodious_thunk

I'm not sold on your opinion of Ernie's draft record, but your optimism is infectious!

Happy for JaVale, he got this invite last year after a very good showing in the Summer League. But ts35 said it best "... everyone who watches him on a regular basis acknowledges that he has a lot of things to work on....defensive rebounding, not going for ball-fakes, a go-to post move, etc."

Posted by: bozomoeman | July 19, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

@melodious_thunk

I'm not sold on your opinion of Ernie's draft record, but your optimism is infectious!

Happy for JaVale, he got this invite last year after a very good showing in the Summer League. But ts35 said it best "... everyone who watches him on a regular basis acknowledges that he has a lot of things to work on....defensive rebounding, not going for ball-fakes, a go-to post move, etc."

Posted by: bozomoeman | July 19, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

"I thought you've already determined that the Wizards won't be upgrading their big man's coaching, so, from your perspective, what's the difference?

Posted by: ts35 | July 19, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse "

The difference is that if he's not getting team support, then he needs to invest in himself....do what a lot of other top players do.....find peers that play your same position and work out with them.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 19, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

"The Ernest Grunfeld Era is off to a resounding start!!

JaVale McGee is yet another gem unearthed by our Ernest Grunfeld and he's ready to make his mark on the basketball world. This is the year. I've always said that Ernest's eye for talent is unrivaled. Can you believe that the off-key crooners are still saying that Ernest wouldn't know a good draft if it came up to him and introduced itself? Preposterous.

Ernest Grunfled has the moxie to excel at building a winner and, make no mistake about it, the Wizards will be one soon!

The Wizards bandwagon still has a flashing vacancy sign on it. Climb aboard while you can.

In Grunfeld We Trust!!

Posted by: melodious_thunk | July 19, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse "

Great. Ernie's mom has internet service now.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 19, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Great. Ernie's mom has internet service now.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 19, 2010 6:09 PM

Ernest's illegitimate, toothless nephew (who never received love as a child and fancies himself as Chris Berman lite, given his fondness for childish nicknames for athletes) has had internet service for years now, "reporting" news under the moniker DC_MAN88!

Good Day, Junior.

Posted by: melodious_thunk | July 19, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

As a Wizards fan and a JaVale McGee fan, I'm happy. As a Team USA fan, I'm a little worried about what our roster is going to look like.

Posted by: Tank2 | July 19, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

he can make the team. brook lopez is just an average player who played on a horrible team. someone has to fill up the stat sheet.

Posted by: nfcBEaST | July 19, 2010 7:17 PM | Report abuse

McGee is a future NBA star. The bad thing is it won't be here. This is his 3rd yr and other good teams that know how to use young talent already have their eye on him. The Wiz have treated him horrible the last 3yrs so he's gone after the Wiz option yr. Also with Flips stupid offense where all gaurds do is shoot jumpers and bigs set high picks why would a big want to play here.

Wiz goal was to make wall the MVP. The Wiz wanted to showcase Wall to sell jerseys and tickets. You could count on 1 hand in 5 summer games how many times they passed the ball to McGee in the post. Hell they didn't even have him post up and let me remind you summer league is where you work on these things. This the sad part about this team. Wall is good but the annoitment is to soon for Wall.

Posted by: rnbrown4 | July 19, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse


rnbrown4, it doesn't matter what other teams have their eye on. McGee's rights belong to the Wizards. End of story.

Posted by: harrybalz | July 19, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

"Ernest's illegitimate, toothless nephew (who never received love as a child and fancies himself as Chris Berman lite, given his fondness for childish nicknames for athletes) has had internet service for years now, "reporting" news under the moniker DC_MAN88!

Good Day, Junior.

Posted by: melodious_thunk | July 19, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse "

Your mom.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 19, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Great. Ernie's mom has internet service now.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 19, 2010 6:09 PM

LMAO but she's going to trade her new PC for a Compaq that was top-of-the-line 5 years ago. + cash.

Posted by: prescrunk | July 19, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

"Ernest's illegitimate, toothless nephew (who never received love as a child and fancies himself as Chris Berman lite, given his fondness for childish nicknames for athletes) has had internet service for years now, "reporting" news under the moniker DC_MAN88! Good Day, Junior.

Posted by: melodious_thunk

Funny!

Posted by: gimmedat | July 19, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

"Been saying it for years now, a good point guard makes everyone better."

Posted by: rmcazz | July 19, 2010 4:32 PM

A good PG makes everyone more productive and effective, but that's not necessarily the same thing as being "better." Tyson Chandler was very productive when he played with CP3. Not so much without him. Did Paul actually make him better in any of the areas Chandler was weak in? Nope. He simply figured out a way to shine a spotlight on his strengths, which made his weaknesses a little less glaring by comparison.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 19, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Ernest's illegitimate, toothless nephew (who never received love as a child and fancies himself as Chris Berman lite, given his fondness for childish nicknames for athletes) has had internet service for years now, "reporting" news under the moniker DC_MAN88!

Good Day, Junior.

Posted by: melodious_thunk | July 19, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Amen.

Posted by: akmed0 | July 19, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

"LMAO but she's going to trade her new PC for a Compaq that was top-of-the-line 5 years ago. + cash.

Posted by: prescrunk | July 19, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse "

It's in her blood to make stupid decisions...look at her son.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 19, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

It's in her blood to make stupid decisions...look at her son.

Posted by: DC_MAN88

grunfeld's smart enough to be in the driver's seat of the wizards franchise and get paid handsomely while he's at it and he's smart enough not to sign that noted "banger" brad miller (*cough*). melodious_thunk tore you a new one and now you're raging at grunfeld's mother. lmao!

Posted by: omgwthrotfl | July 19, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

"grunfeld's smart enough to be in the driver's seat of the wizards franchise and get paid handsomely while he's at it and he's smart enough not to sign that noted "banger" brad miller (*cough*). melodious_thunk tore you a new one and now you're raging at grunfeld's mother. lmao!

Posted by: omgwthrotfl | July 19, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse "

LOL!

EG not signing Brad Miller is going to springboard him to becoming the best GM of all time. He's clearly well on his way already, based on the wonderful things he's done with Les BouleS to date.

I predict EG will have more rings than the Lakers or the Celtics when his masterpiece is completed in DC!!!

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 19, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Javale McGee should of been playing 15 to 18 minutes his rookie year, and 25 or more minutes from day one last year-not only at center. He is competitive talent and most teams would of gotten him experience and deal with the picky bad they see. McGee is not physically strong even today, and he doesn't go get the ball hard and strong on defense. He doesn't look totally committed to the weight room-which we need him to be. I don't blame him to much, not many players has that total commitment. Plus management has failed this youngster with no talented beef that would help him and the team.

Posted by: CTaylor42 | July 20, 2010 3:33 AM | Report abuse

On balance, I see his invite to Team USA as more of a negative development. First, he could get hurt. The Wizards already have Blatche coming off foot surgery. Second, what good did it do for Cleveland to have LeBron play for Team USA? Or for Toronto, to have Chris Bosh play for Team USA? Seems like it is more of an opportunity for him to stop thinking of himself not as a member of the Wizards team, but rather as a member of the next super team. I'm tired of seeing pro players tampering. Third, McGee is (1) a professional; (2) not a rookie; and (3) from a professional basketball family. The idea that he cannot arrange for top-flight off-season workouts at a big man's camp, or privately, is nonsense. Nor do I believe that Team USA coaching is markedly better or different than Wizards coaching. Fourth, in international play, is he going to be working on the skills that he needs in the NBA as a center? Or is he going to essentially be playing a PF role?

Posted by: PostSubscriber | July 20, 2010 7:12 AM | Report abuse

Seems like it is more of an opportunity for [mcgee] to stop thinking of himself not as a member of the Wizards team, but rather as a member of the next super team. I'm tired of seeing pro players tampering.

Posted by: PostSubscriber

young superstars who can get max contracts anywhere think of forming super teams. guys like mcgee on the on the other hand will follow the money and sign with the team that offers them the most cash. he is not a max contract player.

Posted by: omgwthrotfl | July 20, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

@PostSub,

You just have to know that there is no way JaVale would see anywhere near the kind of action that LeBron or Bosh did. It's apples and oranges.

In my opinion the opportunity to gain that confidence and experience with top level players is more than worthwhile for a player like McGee.

Posted by: gconrads | July 20, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

"Plus management has failed this youngster with no talented beef that would help him and the team."

Yes and no.

It's summer league, don't read too much into that. I don't get excited about the summer league, never have. They don't coach those guys, they just play street ball really and it's mostly a developmental league.

I DO think the Wiz should add a low post coach and help Javale. Again, Wall has a great teacher in Cassell. I have no idea who is coaching Javale on this team, it's not certainly not Flip. The only thing I have ever heard Flip say about Javale is "He gets into foul trouble too much." Then he should have someone COACH him with that.

I think if I were the Wiz I would just play to his strengths and go from there. Don't run that many plays to him and let him be a sponge under the basket...just like in the summer league.

Maybe he's thinking too much, it's been known to happen.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | July 20, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Mcgee was DNP-CD's 22 times last season! Not to mention all the times Flip played him less than 5mins. Some people thought it was great coaching because he wasnt good enough to be in the game, now he's at Team USA trials again. But I suppose Fab would have been invited if he was American?

Getting a chance to play everyday against the young elite at PF/C can help makeup for some of the development opportunity that Flip flushed down the toilet in a 26 win season.

Posted by: divi3 | July 20, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

I hope McGee is watching films from last season, such as that game when Marc Gasol abused him. I never want to see that happen again.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | July 20, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

The Miami Heat re-signed Jamal Magloire, continuing their pursuit of every middling aging big man who can still drag his ass up and down the court.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 20, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

I'm with Ray in that playing to his strengths can hide weaknesses as he develops. For instance, MGasul abused him and no doubt still will get the better of him in the post this season. But there's no doubt Javale can run that lumbering Spaniard right off the floor, so take advantage of it.

Wall is going to be one of the fastest pg's in the league and Javale probably runs better than any other 7footer...that should be something we can exploit with some regularity

Posted by: divi3 | July 20, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad JM has been invited to play with the US team, I think he'll improve because of it. That said, it struck me this morning how odd it is that he is our only legitimate center. Someone made the point earlier that he had 22 DNP-CDs last season. If that is true, it is remarkable now that he is the only legit 5 (and some would say he isn't even THAT yet) on our team.

Posted by: psdfx | July 20, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Whine, whine; blame, blame. I suppose that's what these boards are for, though.

Starting slowly a rough prospect like McGee is the way any good team would go. And all those minutes to Haywood and Jamison led to the Wiz getting those high draft picks in the trades of those two.

We didn't get any? Never mind.

Posted by: BPupp | July 20, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

McGee isn't yet the sort of big man who can match up against tall, strong inside players in a half-court offense. So Wall's presence and a speeded-up full court game should help him more than any other player. Once he gets much success in that style, however, his motivation for learning the slower game will probably decrease. But then he was never that good at it anyway.

Glad to see they picked up a strong, athletic prospect in Seraphin. Hope he's more skilled than predicted and shows up ready at training camp.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 20, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

I guess the hope is Blatche can help out inside. He's certainly big enough, even if he's not the most physical player. Blatche may benefit from Wall's presence even more than McGee, because he'll be the team's only bona fide inside scoring option.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 20, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Shut down the hype machine.
I like McGee as much as the next guy, but stop the non-sense about his being a legit center.

Everything about his game screams that he's a small/power forward in spirit - the fancy dunks, behind-the-back dribbling, taking the ball the length of the court after rebounding, his attitude toward defensive rebounding, his love of fade-away jumpers, etc. The McGee we see today is the McGee we'll see tomorrow. The Wizards can't change his game any more than they can alter his DNA.

McGee is being penciled in at center because he's over seven feet tall. No other reason. That said, some teams get away with playing 3/4s at center. No reason why the Wizards can't.

Posted by: harrybalz | July 20, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: harrybalz | July 20, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

You are crazy.He may not be a physical threat, but he is a legit center. I remember when Shaq said in McGee's rookie year that he will be one of the best centers in the NBA. He is just a different type of center (one of the hyper athletic, blocking shots type...how many 3s block shots @ the same rate that McGee does). He just needs his body to mature more and gain some more basketball smarts (which comes with experience). He will be a pretty good C once he does that.

Posted by: merajc86 | July 20, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I watched a number of the NBA summer league games on the NBA channel. A number of their different announcers were really talking about McGee and his improvement.

This seems to be the only place where I see nothing but nitpicking about his game. I quess our in house experts here know more then Coach K and USA Basketball. For the guy to get an invite to camp is an acknowledgement of his potential and his hard work to development it...
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | July 19, 2010 3:35 PM

GM

Your statement has a lot more meaning than realized. Your statement also goes to why some coaches get it and some never do.

It's also why most of our resident experts don't see the big picture and constantly like to dig at insignificant chinks in the armour and not the whole armour.

Coach K being so successful at Duke is emblematic of why I am so hard on and know that coaching is extremely important.

Some would like to indicate that you can't compare coaching in college to the pros. But thats just an excuse for bad coaching.

JaVale McGee and the things he does well should have gotten him rookie all-star consideration but he never got it because they kept him glued on the bench for making rookie mistakes and did not coach him from his positives.

Coaching and developing to your players strengths and not their negatives should never be looked at lightly.

And another thing that some here fail to realize about defense. The NBA isn't called the No Defense League for nothing. Good defense is important and it comes from team defense, what most don't understand, but the NBA is built for offense.

A lack of perceived individual defensive skill is easily coachable. Most folks here don't understand that. They would rather keep vilifying one player or another when in reality the whole league is about the same for individual players when it comes to individual defense.

The difference is Team Defense. Coaches and Teams that understand this are much better at defense than those teams/coaches/resident experts here that run their teams based upon individual play.

LarryInClintonMD.

Duke University under Mike is one of the toughest defensive teams in the country year after year and it has nothing to do with the individual and everything to do with Team.

The Lakers under Jackson is one of the hardest teams in the NBA to run a fast break on because in Jackson's scheme there must be three guys back up court first in a triangle to stop a fastbreak.

If that triangle breaks down, Jackson who dosen't like calling timeouts will call one in a heartbeat.

When Cleveland played Boston in the playoffs, they deserved to loose, by putting Antwann Jamison on Kevin Garnett. They had better options.

By putting Jamison on Garnett it took away any advantage of having Jamison on the floor. It was a bad bad team decision.

Play to your strengths and not your weaknesses, your potential and not your lack of it.

GM.

Oustanding post.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | July 20, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

SF Josh Smith outblocks him 2.47 vs. 1.3 bpg. Granted, McGee's numbers should go up as he gets more minutes and at any rate, he an above-average shot-blocker for a 3/4.

M. Gasol showed us what a legit center plays like. I doubt there are many on this board who wouldn't take Gasol over McGee as a center. If a center can't consistently finish the defensive stand with a defensive rebound or at least be in the proper position to board, then the team is at a disadvantage. Again, I really like McGee and hope he reaches his full potential but the Wizards would be wise not to force a square peg into a round hole. Defensive rebounding ability is something you have or you don't and I don't believe a big can be taught to want that rebound.

Posted by: harrybalz | July 20, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

"Coaching and developing to your players strengths and not their negatives should never be looked at lightly."

"Play to your strengths and not your weaknesses, your potential and not your lack of it."

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD

This is why I believe that Flip should not look to place McGee into a "traditional" center role. Look at his strengths and maximize them within his scheme while continuing shore up his weaknesses. Perhaps play McGee with a Seraphin who can clean up the boards and is said to be extremely physical/aggressive. Forget tradition!

Posted by: harrybalz | July 20, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Marc Gasol is also 25 years old and had years of seasoning of playing pro overseas. McGee is 22 years old and is going into his 3rd year of pro ball. Let him get a bit more experience before you start saying he isn't a legit center. His skill-set is different from a traditional center, but he is still an intimidating presence down low. His weakness is post defense (which should improve with more added bulk), help defense (which should improve with experience), defensive rebounding (which should improve with bulk and technique) and offensive post moves (which should improve with more touches...not a given). He has excellent athleticism for the position (which most centers don't). With time, he will be a force down low.

Posted by: merajc86 | July 20, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: merajc86 | July 20, 2010 11:39 AM

You've mentioned a lot of skills that should improve over time and I most certainly hope they will. Your argument further underscores my point that McGee isn't a legit center since in my mind those skills are critical to the position, with the exception of offensive post moves (although those would be nice). Whether or not he'll become a legit center I guess is open to debate, but I do believe he is what he is.

Posted by: harrybalz | July 20, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

MGasol is 3yrs older than Mcgee and if we watched him everyday and analyzed his every move, we may agree with criticisms of his defense and a few other points rather than simply wishing we had him instead. Not to knock him in any way, just saying no need to covet other Cs when Mcgee is all of age 22 and not as good as players several years older and more experienced.

Outside this board, who would be surprised if at age 25 mcgee had become a force in the league?

Posted by: divi3 | July 20, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"This seems to be the only place where I see nothing but nitpicking about his game."

We also watch him nightly, and again, we're talking about summer league here.

McGee has a lot of good qualities, I think he just needs a coach is willing to put the time in with him. The Wiz don't have that coach that I am aware of.

He's going to play lots this year, no more excuses. I believe in my heart having Wall on this team will only improve everyone, especially players like McGee.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | July 20, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Joygasm!!! New owner, Number one pick, good draft, blossoming bigs, jilted franchise player looking for redemption, over half the squad plays defense for a change. TIMES HAVE CHANGED!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: BurgwithaU | July 20, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

McGee has shown great potential during the summer league for two seasons, but why doesn't Flip have a bigman coach on staff like Sam Cassell to work with the PG's? The top teams like L.A., Boston, and Orlando all have assistants or mentors as in the case of L.A. to work with their bigs. Orlando has Patrick Ewing to work with and mentor Dwight Howards. The Wiz have Randy Wittman, Flip's buddy Dave Z, and Sam Cassell. I don't think any of them have ever played up front in the pros.

Posted by: wizfan89 | July 20, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

The difference is that if he's not getting team support, then he needs to invest in himself....do what a lot of other top players do.....find peers that play your same position and work out with them.

Posted by: DC_MAN88

Find peers and work out with them......Lol, isn't that kind of like the USA Basketball training camp?

If it was for a month, I might be concerned. But it's 5 days of competing against some of the best. If he learns some things, it's a good thing. If he gets beaten up and abused then it may help show him how much he still has to learn coming off of his Summer League dominance.

Posted by: ts35 | July 20, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: wizfan89 | July 20, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

But they have developed players like KG...Also, have you noticed Dwight Howard's offensive skill set improving? I think not...One more thing, if you have noticed, McGee has worked on his game. He added a little jump shot and there were a few hooks. Just give him natural progression before people jump down his throat. Lets see how he utilizes everyone this year.

Posted by: merajc86 | July 20, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

On balance, I see his invite to Team USA as more of a negative development
Posted by: PostSubscribe

Slow your roll a bit. He got invited to the training/tryout camp. He hasn't been invited to compete with the team yet.

Posted by: ts35 | July 20, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

But there's no doubt Javale can run that lumbering Spaniard right off the floor, so take advantage of it.
Posted by: divi3

One of my biggest complaints with McGee (and Blatche) last year is that they would consistently get beaten downcourt by guys like Gasol, Bogut, Okur, etc who had no business beating them downcourt.

Posted by: ts35 | July 20, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

"Also, have you noticed Dwight Howard's offensive skill set improving? I think not..."

Think again. He's easily a better offensive player now than he was a few years ago. Certainly not a go-to, carry the team scorer, but a guy who can create some offense in half court set.

"One more thing, if you have noticed, McGee has worked on his game. He added a little jump shot and there were a few hooks. Just give him natural progression before people jump down his throat. Lets see how he utilizes everyone this year."

He's been taking those shots since he was a rookie. The problem with them is that they don't go in the basket a whole lot. His short, set jumpshot is semi-decent, if he squares up and takes his time. Problem is, he never does. He rushes everything he does on the court, which is why he commits so many blunders. He hasn't shown any "natural progression" because he's still making the same mistakes now he was making as a rookie. He appears to have spent some time in the weight room, and that's nice. But his primary problems aren't physical, they're mental. He doesn't think the game. That's a real problem for a guy who's mother was a pro player, who spent two years at college, and is entering his third year in the pros.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 20, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Say this on SI.com, in a peice about the worst offseason deals. It's actually about Tyrus Thomas, but it seemed fitting for this discussion as well:

There is a very low potential for stardom among players who are extraordinarily athletic but continue to demonstrate limited production and court IQ even after being in the league for a few years. That's Thomas' profile right now. The four-year veteran is a low-post jumping jack with a career shooting percentage of 45.0, and he's an occasional impact player on defense who just as often gets in foul trouble and turns the ball over. Charlotte, a team with a solid defense but in need of scoring, just gave him $40 million. The good news is that he is only 23.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/britt_robson/07/20/bad.offseason.moves/1.html

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 20, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who has closely and objectively watched this team, knows that McGee has made marked improvement from mid season of last year to present. His progress and Blatche's progress clearly cincided with playing time and opportunity.

Unless you watched a different Summer League, I saw few bad shots on his way to 70 % shooting from the field. Lob dunks are a good thing and are the staple of Dwight Howards game.

With respect to Tyrus Thomas, he would have been a much better acquisition for the money than Kirk Heinrich.

Posted by: NewManagement | July 20, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse


With respect to Tyrus Thomas, he would have been a much better acquisition for the money than Kirk Heinrich.

Posted by: NewManagement | July 20, 2010 2:56 PM

You're insane.

Posted by: ArmChairQB | July 20, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I haven't seen alot of discussion about what could be the biggest thing gained by Javale participating in the team USA trials, learning what he needs to do to make his game more like Tyson Chandler's.

Chandler has managed to learn over the years that low-post defense and defensive rebounding are not all about athletic ability. A lesson that has proven even more valuable now that his body is falling apart. Javale could learn from watching up close or pick his brain (especially since no one would be surprised to see Chandler spending time on the sideline nursing injuries).

I would especially love to see McGee learn that banging in the post doesn't have to be all about using your forearm and chest bumping (major areas of weakness for him). Positioning and using your leg strength go a long way.

Plus, Jerry C. said in an interview today that Robin Lopez and Amare had both backed out, makes it more likely that Team USA needs an athletic center to sub in for Brooke Lopez. You never know, Javale could shock us all and step into that role. Regardless, I believe that more practice time for McGee under the supervision of some excellent coaches and competing against/with some stellar talents can't be a bad thing for his development.

Posted by: SportzWiz | July 20, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

With respect to Tyrus Thomas, he would have been a much better acquisition for the money than Kirk Heinrich.

Posted by: NewManagement | July 20, 2010 2:56 PM

You're insane.

Posted by: ArmChairQB | July 20, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

No armchair, to pay 9 Million a year for an overrated jump shooting Point Guard is insane. Particularly, when you have two in tow and another i.e. Livingston that you could have had for half the price. Oh yearh he is gonna be a mentor. (get Real)

Posted by: NewManagement | July 20, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse


No armchair, to pay 9 Million a year for an overrated jump shooting Point Guard is insane. Particularly, when you have two in tow and another i.e. Livingston that you could have had for half the price. Oh yearh he is gonna be a mentor. (get Real)

Posted by: NewManagement | July 20, 2010 5:55 PM

Livingston is half the price, half the player and, given his bad wheels, will last half as long. Next!!

Posted by: bobabuie | July 20, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

"Find peers and work out with them......Lol, isn't that kind of like the USA Basketball training camp?

Posted by: ts35 | July 20, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse "

Actually no. Pay attention.

I said "find peers that play your same position and work out with them.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 20, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Actually no. Pay attention.

I said "find peers that play your same position and work out with them.

Posted by: DC_MAN88

My bad, I thought Tyson Chandler, Kevin Love, and Brook Lopez played C. Seems USA Basketball did too. Please be sure to correct them at your earliest opportunity.

Posted by: ts35 | July 21, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

"My bad, I thought Tyson Chandler, Kevin Love, and Brook Lopez played C. Seems USA Basketball did too. Please be sure to correct them at your earliest opportunity.

Posted by: ts35 | July 21, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse "

Yes, all 3 are established centers who have carried their teams far. Surely there are no Tim Duncans, Rasheeds, or Cambys that have more center experience than those 3 you mentioned.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 21, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Yes, all 3 are established centers who have carried their teams far. Surely there are no Tim Duncans, Rasheeds, or Cambys that have more center experience than those 3 you mentioned.

Posted by: DC_MAN88

A) are those guys really his 'peers'?

B) I missed the part where any of those guys volunteered to work with McGee. Technically Duncan and Camby are still his competitors and Rasheed has indicated that he has no interest in coaching.

C) Lopez and Love are more skilled than McGee, so it's not like he can't pick up a few things.

D) Chandler has been in the running a couple of times for Defensive Player of the Year and has a physique and (used to) have athleticism similar to McGee. Seems like someone McGee could learn things from.

E) I notice you left Miller off your list :)

Posted by: ts35 | July 21, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Could JaVale possibly make the final 12? Now, it's not a pipe dream:

http://www.nba.com/2010/news/features/john_schuhmann/07/20/team.usa.centers/index.html

Posted by: bernard_thompson | July 22, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse


"Ernest Grunfled has the moxie to excel at building a winner and, make no mistake about it, the Wizards will be one soon!

The Wizards bandwagon still has a flashing vacancy sign on it. Climb aboard while you can.

In Grunfeld We Trust!!"

______________________________________

Ernie should stop making his front office employees post garbage like this on this site. Get a grip, please.

Posted by: NothingButTheTruth | July 22, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Well if he doesn't do anything in the NBA at least we can see the diffrence in talent from your average great street baller and the bottom teor NBA player. This highlight reel is sick. If he can do half that in real time regular season this team is certainly on the rise. I am not a wizads fan at all, but if Arenas is ready to win and not care who the star is, Mcgee can play like this, Blatche comes back from injury and they can get another tough guy in the middle with Howard or Booker they can have a very competitive squad. i think Ted is going to model after the run and gun Suns. Why wouldn't he? Run and gun has worked for the Caps at least to make them fun enough to watch and sell out the stadium even if it never equates to a championship.

Posted by: dbrine1261 | July 24, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

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