I’m a big fan of cutting to the chase (unless the chases we’re cutting to happen to be in the remake of “Gone in 60 Seconds,” then not only should we skip the chases, but we should severely rethink what it was that compelled us to watch “Gone in 60 Seconds”). Assuming Nicholas Cage isn’t anywhere near this chase, I’ll cut to it. JaVale McGee can jump out of most gyms. Right out. Without a running start, even. And in this league, that’s worth something. He’s a super talent no matter what the advanced stats from his first two years say. His 17 PER, his 20 USG%, his 107 ORtg and his 108 DRtg – they all tell us he’s average. Pitifully, boringly, Washington D.C.-ingly average. It all tells us he’s like Peter Parker without the Spiderman suit. The truth is, Peter Parker without the Spiderman suit is just an opportunistic photojournalist and frankly, McGee can jump way higher than any photojournalist I’ve ever seen.
It all ends in 2011. I know the Mayans would have you believe differently, but by February, JaVale McGee will be a top 80 player in this league. Which doesn’t necessarily make him one now. His free throw percentage makes me burp a little stomach acid, I’m not sure he knows he’s allowed to assist to his teammates, and it takes him three months to warm up to the idea that he gets paid to play basketball. Through December of his first two seasons Epic Vale averaged 11.5 mpg/.473 FG%/.577 FT%/2.8 rbd in 46 October-December games. In 89 January-April games, he averaged 17.5 mpg/.509/.676/4.6 rbd. He’ll be asked to do most of the heavy lifting Brendan Haywood was asked to do last season. He averaged fewer than 16 minutes in his first two seasons, but if he can keep his fouls down, he’ll keep his minutes way up. And those minutes? Yeah, most of them will be shared with John Wall, who has made everyone around him better. Just ask his mother. When Wall’s around, she doesn’t even need to go to the hairdresser. Shizz just perms itself. With McGee’s minutes up, so sprout his blocks. He averaged 3.8 blocks per36 last season and 2.4 his rookie year and that was before he grew an inch a added seven pounds of muscle and properly diagnosed his asthma. Now when he jumps to block shots, he won’t come down huffin’ and puffin’. If blocks are a lock next season, JaVale’s m’key.
Season Projections: .499/.680/0 3pt/15 pts/9.5 rbd/0.5 ast/0.5 stl/3 blk/2.5 tov