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Posted at 5:29 PM ET, 02/20/2011

JaVale McGee, mother, on slam dunk contest

By Michael Lee

By Michael Lee  | February 20, 2011; 5:29 PM ET
 
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Comments

I think the big difference between Javale's game and that of Dwight Howard is the rebounding. When McGee had that brief spurt earlier this season (that got the fans so excited about his future), it was mostly because of improved boardwork -- on the offensive boards, in particular. Big men who can provide exceptional rebounding are generally more valued than shotblockers.

Larry Bird insisted that the key to improvement was to work on your weaknesses, not your strengths. I think that applies to McGee. Work on rebounding. And slide on stuff like blocking shots or dunking.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 20, 2011 6:23 PM | Report abuse

I see someone kinda said I shouldn't have tooted my horn for saying that it would be a good idea to bring in Pam McGee in the Slam Dunk contest.

But I is a tellin' ya' that basketball is a trash talkin' sport. And was I kinda' tootin' my horn, you betcha. In fact the Wizards should be doing a better job of tootin their horn.

They might wanna' consider the Pamela angle to get somo' butts in the seats, especially for the Mystics.

If you want to roll like a big dog, you can't leave no stones unturned.

Ask Kenny The Jet Smith.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 20, 2011 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Again, JaTravel's "weakness" in rebounding is due to him taking himself out of the play by going after every shot in hopes of blocking it. His other issue is a total lack of an offensive post game.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 20, 2011 9:26 PM | Report abuse

"If you want to roll like a big dog, you can't leave no stones unturned."

Also, a rolling stone will take the big picture window out of the front of your glass house.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 20, 2011 9:44 PM | Report abuse

About those four picks that NJ is offering Denver along with Derrick Favors and Devin Harris for Carmelo Anthony et al: That includes the Nets pick this year; a pick from the Warriors that's protected through No. 7 over the next two years, then becomes a couple second rounders; a pick originating with Houston that is protected through 18; and this year's Lakers pick.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 20, 2011 9:51 PM | Report abuse

"Again, JaTravel's "weakness" in rebounding is due to him taking himself out of the play by going after every shot in hopes of blocking it."Posted by: DC_MAN8

That would help explain the lack of defensive boards, of course. But the dramatic increase in his rebound totals came from the offensive end. What happened to those?

The big advantage of an offensive rebounder is that you don't need to run a play for him to pick up 12 or so points a game.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 20, 2011 9:58 PM | Report abuse

"The big advantage of an offensive rebounder is that you don't need to run a play for him to pick up 12 or so points a game."

Posted by: Samson151 | February 20, 2011 9:58 PM

Which points to the real big difference between Javale's game and that of Dwight Howard: Howard can reliably create offense when plays are run for him down low in the half court, McGee can't. This has been the Wizards' primary weakness for years and they don' appear to have any in-house options to solve it.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 21, 2011 1:20 AM | Report abuse

"This has been the Wizards' primary weakness for years and they don' appear to have any in-house options to solve it.Posted by: kalo_rama"

Which makes me wonder about Jared Sullinger. Only seen him a couple times but he seems like the sort who might make a difference. Currently most scouts have him going 3-5.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 21, 2011 9:02 AM | Report abuse

In LA for allstar weekend and overheard that Dwight Howard offered to McGee to workout with "them" over the summer. Don't know who is included with "them" but if there isn't a bigs coach or someone to be able to look at "Javall's" overall game, maybe he should consider something more personal to improve his own game, however, some run with D Howard could only help provided it's not just some open run and gun or pick up ball.

Posted by: zack5 | February 21, 2011 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Apparently the Clips have concluded that Blake Griffin's future is alongside a defensive center like DeAndre Jordan rather than someone like Chris Kaman. Jordan is an average rebounder but an exceptional shotblocker.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 21, 2011 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Currently most scouts have him going 3-5.

Posted by: Samson151

Really? Who did they have at 1 & 2? Most mocks I've seen had him at 1-2 and maybe it was before the 1st lost but didn't see anything with him going as late as 5.

Posted by: zack5 | February 21, 2011 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Be glad to see Javale get a chance to work with Howard if only to get a better understanding of why Dwight so completely dominates him. But overall I think the Wiz are just plain missing a player. We (including me) sometimes give in to hope that McGee or Blatche will somehow turn into 'that guy', but somehow the pieces never completely fit.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 21, 2011 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Really? Who did they have at 1 & 2? Most mocks I've seen had him at 1-2 and maybe it was before the 1st lost but didn't see anything with him going as late as 5.Posted by: zack5"

Oh -- I haven't looked at the mocks recently. Sports Illustrated did a feature on him in which they emphasized the questions scouts had -- not just his size, but some problems with positioning. Apparently he's a very instinctive player who doesn't do things by the coaching book. That'll make some teams suspicious. In college he's able to outmuscle opponents, in the NBA that will be more difficult (except against Washington, of course).

Let's see, NBAdraft.net has him going first, DraftExpress (the more reliable source) has him at 4. That'll no doubt change a couple times before we're done.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 21, 2011 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Sports Illustrated did a feature on him in which they emphasized the questions scouts had -- not just his size, but some problems with positioning. Apparently he's a very instinctive player who doesn't do things by the coaching book. That'll make some teams suspicious.

Are you talking about Jared Sullinger, the OhioSt PF? He's a coach's son known for superb positioning, fundamentals, and basketball iq.

Posted by: divi3 | February 21, 2011 9:40 AM | Report abuse

I'm for JaVale doing things to get better
He needs to find someone similar to him.

Dwight Howard just isn't the type of guy he needs to be patterning himself after.

He's never gonna be the strong overpowering guy in the middle.

He's an quicker, more athletic guy
I'm thinking more of an athletic Camby.

Even if he learns the positioning/leverage
Of being a stringbean vs. a power guy.

Inspired by Larry's wisdom
I want to write in his Haiku form as well.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | February 21, 2011 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Over the past 5 weeks, Howard has had monster games against Bogut, Bynum, Pau, Perkins, Chandler, Duncan...there isnt anybody in the league that can match him. He's a consensus #1 overall phenom pick that is having a league MVP career. Waiting on JM to go toe-to-toe with him is pretty fruitless, we just need him to not foul out in every 1stQ and maybe have some 12/9 nights. Against the Magic, it takes a team defensive effort against Howard that allows for Gil&crew to brick a ton of shots while Superman goes 3-10 FTs

But we're so many levels below the Magic anyway, it's not something we need to worry about right now...

Posted by: divi3 | February 21, 2011 10:24 AM | Report abuse

"Are you talking about Jared Sullinger, the OhioSt PF? He's a coach's son known for superb positioning, fundamentals, and basketball iq.Posted by: divi3"

Yep, the same one. His basketball IQ is apparently so great he "doesn't even box out" on rebounds. "I just know where the ball is going to go," he's quoted as saying. "Fundamentally sound players secure the ball in the post before they try a move," the article continues, "but Sullinger says, 'there's times when I don't even focus on catching the basketball. When the ball hits my hands, my eye is on the middle of the floor to see where the double team is coming from."
The writer suggests that Sullinger may be so advanced he's 'postfundamental.'

My question --- and it's a legit question, not an invite to yet another snarky fan rant -- is how well his game will translate to the NBA. The scouts say he's not terribly tall and not overly athletic, and it looks to me that the game I saw was mostly layups, below-the-rim rebounding, and trips to the FT line.

He'll no doubt go in the top five, and the Wiz might just have a shot at him. If so, is he the answer, or just the best available option for a team with virtually no inside strength?

Posted by: Samson151 | February 21, 2011 11:07 AM | Report abuse

"He's an quicker, more athletic guy
I'm thinking more of an athletic Camby."

Here's a haiku-esque response:
"A fish leaps high --
Does he not know the
food is in the water below?"

Posted by: Samson151 | February 21, 2011 11:14 AM | Report abuse

only thing that dissapointed me about McGee is the fact that it seemed like he didnt know the rules or something. Its like they had 1 more dunk then he thought they had. How could he do all those dunks and then when the very final chance comes to win, you have nothing left?

Come on McGee, come on C-Webb. Its like they ran out of dunks. Maybe it was Ibaka's fault. Maybe they planned on doing that mouth dunk thing but Ibaka stole it. I could also see McGee maybe having a FT line dunk in him also just to show people that the in game one was a fluke but Ibaka took that too. Thats the only problem I had.

You already know that you arent going to win against Blake "The Media Darling" Griffin, espically in LA unless you come wit it and he just didnt do it. However, I also say he was robbed on that last dunk because his 1st one shouldve counted. It might wasnt completely clean but how was that not a dunk? Its like they were trying to make sure that he didnt win. Crooks....lol

Posted by: dlts2041 | February 21, 2011 1:22 PM | Report abuse

"The writer suggests that Sullinger may be so advanced he's 'postfundamental.'"

HA! That's great.

"He'll no doubt go in the top five, and the Wiz might just have a shot at him. If so, is he the answer, or just the best available option for a team with virtually no inside strength?"

Based on the admittedly limited amount I've seen of him, I'm going with option B. He's a great college player, but he may end up falling into the Corliss Wiliamson\Michael Beasley\Kevin love category of undersized "bigs" in the pros.

And before someone comes out nattering about Love's numbers . . . I'm talking specifically about the ability to score inside as an NBA PF, which is where the discussion started. For all his board crashing, Love isn't really an inside scorer.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 21, 2011 1:26 PM | Report abuse

As for thee dunk contest . . . they should change the rules so that each contestant gets 3 free shots to complete a dunk. After that, for every missed attempt they get points deducted off of their final score.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 21, 2011 1:29 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Kalo, after 3 attempts, they shouldn't he allowed to get a 10. Many could make the dunk if you have twenty attempts.

Posted by: zack5 | February 21, 2011 2:16 PM | Report abuse

" For all his board crashing, Love isn't really an inside scorer.Posted by: kalo_rama"

No, as he'd be first to admit. He has to cheat to get his shot off against 7-footers, and offensive rebounding is one way he makes space for himself.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 21, 2011 4:06 PM | Report abuse

" For all his board crashing, Love isn't really an inside scorer.Posted by: kalo_rama"

Can't believe that I'm about to go to bat for Kevin Love. But casual comments need to be refuted. Kevin Love takes, and makes .424% of his 3-point shots. However, he is best noted for his incredible 15.5 rebounds per game. He gets about five offensive rebounds per game. Those usually result in put-backs for easy scores. Just because the league's best rebounder is also good from long range doesn't negate the fact that he is an inside scorer.

Posted by: musicmanjr | February 21, 2011 6:30 PM | Report abuse

See, this is exactly the kind of nonsense I was trying to prevent.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 21, 2011 11:48 PM | Report abuse

To be more specific:

(A) Scoring on offensive rebound putbacks is not the same thing as being a low post, half-court scorer, which is what we were talking about the Wizards lacking and whether a guy like Sullinger could fill that role.

(B) Not all jumpshots are 3 pointers. Love takes a fair amount of jumpers inside the arc.

(C) Love is shooting 47% overall from the field, and given how high his 3 pt percentage is, that suggests that "put-backs for easy scores" don't make up that high a percentage of his shot totals.

Love's a good player, but his numbers benefit significantly from playing on a bad team that's short on size and talent.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 22, 2011 12:44 AM | Report abuse

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