The question has never been the physical talent of JaVale McGee. Back in 2010 he got an extended tryout with Team USA before the World Championships and in workouts with the NBA’s best those guys quietly whispered about McGee’s physical gifts.
But he didn’t make that team. And despite all the potential the Wizards wanted him out of town and shipped him to Denver. He has never lived up to all those gifts.
McGee is trying to tap into that potential by working out with Hall-of-Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon this summer in Houston. And Olajuwon is singing his praises to MyFoxHouston.com.
“No question, I see him as another star,” Olajuwon said in an interview with FOX 26 Sports. “That guy should dominate the league.
“He has tremendous talent. I give him all these moves and he can finish and he’s already skilled. So now just show him how to use that skill to (get) to the next level.”
There lies the rub. Will McGee — famous for his blooper-reel errors — be able to put these lessons to good use? He has a great coach in George Karl who will put him in good situations to succeed. It feels like this could be a breakout year for McGee. But it has before, too.
It all comes down to McGee and what’s between his ears. The Nuggets have made their bet on him with a new contract, now we’ll see if there is a payoff.
Chris Paul broke his finger Saturday.
The initial diagnosis said the injury wasn’t serious.
Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:
Paul obviously wouldn’t push it during the preseason. If the Clippers are allowing him to play, this can’t be bad.
Really, the most challenging aspect to this is grasping the concept that a broke finger can be a minor injury.
Brad Stevens has a big challenge this year – sorting the Celtics’ deep roster of similarly able players.
It seems that process is shaking out at power forward and center.
A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast:
it appears Boston’s first four bigs will be starters David Lee and Tyler Zeller, with Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk off the bench.
That leaves Jonas Jerebko and Jared Sullinger, potentially on the outside looking in as far as the regular rotation is concerned.
Lee is the best passer of the bunch, which could partially explain why he’s starting. Boston’s most likely starting point guard, Marcus Smart, is still growing into the role of the lead ball-handler at the NBA level. Lee and presumptive starting shooting guard Avery Bradley can take some pressure off him.
Olynyk can space the floor for Isaiah Thomas-Johnson pick-and-rolls with the reserves and run pick-and-pops with Thomas himself.
I’m a little surprised Zeller is starting over Johnson, though. The Celtics just signed Johnson to a $12 million salary, and I thought they’d rely on his defense to set a tone early. Like Johnson, Zeller is a quality pick-and-roll finisher who can thrive with Thomas.
This is particularly bad news for Sullinger, who – barring a surprising contract extension – is entering a contract year. It seems those reports of offseason conditioning haven’t yet paid off. Jerebko’s deal also isn’t guaranteed beyond this season, but at least he has already gotten his mid-sized payday. Sullinger is still on his rookie-scale contract.