JaVale McGee finally might be turning the potential that Washington fans have been salivating over into steady play, and a real shot at making Team USA. Two new reports on McGee's time with the national team are out, and both are complimentary of the strides McGee has made in improving his game, and his chances for making the team due to the dearth of quality big men.
Sekou Smith, from NBA.com's Hangtime blog got to watch ten minutes of scrimmage between the US Team and the Select Team on Thursday, and besides Kevin Durant, the real standout of the practice was McGee:
After Durant, I think the star of the 10 minutes was McGee. The last-minute addition to the roster was active. He had a block, a couple of interior shot-contests and a few strong rebounds, two of them offensive and one of those a huge put-back dunk off a Durant miss. McGee did go 0-for-2 from the line though.
WaPo's Michael Lee interviewed McGee over the phone to get his impression of the experience, and to ask the player how his summer was evolving:
"I feel like it shows someone sees something special," McGee, 22, said in a telephone interview. "So I got to take advantage of it and make sure that no one is disappointed."
Also complimentary of McGee's performance was Team USA Coach Mike Krzyzewski, who declined individual evaluations, but said that McGee had "done a good job." Krzyzewski went on to state:
"He's a shot-blocker. He protects the basket really well and he's seven feet tall," the Duke men's basketball coach said. "He brings more height, jumping ability and shot-blocking.
This all bodes well for McGee, who is going to be a vital part of the Wizards rebuilding plans this year. The man is also blessed in that he continues to spend his summer with great point guards like Chauncey Billups and Rajon Rondo, and then return home to rekindle the magic that he and John Wall created in Summer League.