Nov 5, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets center JaVale McGee (34) drives to the basket against San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (21) during the first half at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
During the offseason I’ll be doing a segment for each Nuggets player showcasing what a good year and a bad year would look like for that player for the upcoming 2014-15 season.
The good year section will be judged based upon three aspects. The first being what the Denver Nuggets front office and coach staff would consider a good statistical year. Second comes what improvements I would like the player to see in order to have a good year. Thirdly, the type of role that player will have for the Nuggets for the season.
The bad year section has the same template as the good year just the opposite projections. If you can’t get the gist, well it’s a good thing we’re going to be having 12 of these, eventually it will come.
Our first contestant for this segment is none other than the human YouTube sensation,Javale McGee.
McGee had a rough 2013-14 season as he played in only five games until he sat out the rest of the season with a lower leg injury.
If you’ve read any of my previous articles you know my relationship with Javale McGee is the clear definition of love-hate. From free throw line dunk attempts to vertical blocks a man of his size should not be able to make, McGee makes me clap and shake my head like no other can.
Lets first take a look at what a good year and bad year for JaVale McGee would look like.
JaVale McGee is at a make or break year
2014-15 Projected Stats:
Good: 75 or more (can’t expect a full season). Bad: 50 or below (means some type of serious injury occurred)
Points per Game:
Good: 13 or higher (improvements on offensive game). Bad: 8 or below (still just put-backs and alley-oops)
Rebounds per Game:
Good: 10 or more (based from being more physical). Bad: 6 or fewer (just a block-shot only defender)
Blocks per Game:
Good: 2 or more (timing balls). Bad: 1.5 or fewer (more goaltending than blocks)
Good Year of Improvements
Offensively, McGee would have worked on his footwork. He’d be a threat in the post, not just an uncoordinated big man.
Defensively, McGee would become a more physical defender, meaning he grabs more defensive rebounds. We know he can jump out of the gym, but he should be able to grab more rebounds for a guy 7 feet tall.
Bad Year of Continuous Mistakes
Offensively, McGee makes no progress on his offensive game. Forever becomes an average offensive player
Defensively, McGee struggles to defend the basket. In a Brian Shaw defense the big man must protect the rim, that means fewer goaltends and and-ones and more hard fouls and contested shots.
JaVale McGee’s 2014-15 Role:
On a good year, McGee would be the starting center for the Denver Nuggets and play almost the entire season. He’d have a year similar to the one Roy Hibbert had two years ago under Shaw. A guy who protects the paint on defense and contributes with high percentage field goals on offense. He provides highlight plays and finds himself less on the bloopers. The Nuggets’ front office still doesn’t like to see that $11 million number, but at least feel better about their payment
A bad year for McGee could be his last here in Denver. He barely makes it through half the year, puts up only lackluster numbers and starts to hear the boo birds from the Nuggets faithful. Shaw decides to give Nurkic more court time and McGee finds himself near the end of the bench. The front office is fed up with the experiment and look to trade McGee around the deadline. If he makes it through the season they amnesty the final $12 million remaining on his contract in the summer of 2015.
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