Me or The Team?

Posted by By at 17 March, at 01 : 17 AM Print

At the start of the Bulls-Wizards game I jokingly thought to myself how early it would be before we saw Brian Scalabrine enter the game. Even without Boozer and Noah, the Bulls still had surely had enough depth and talent to beat a Wizards team that was without Andray Blatche, Rashard Lewis, Nick Young, and Josh Howard. Okay, well let’s be serious they’ve been without Lewis and Howard pretty often here lately so that shouldn’t have been a surprise and Blatche isn’t always “there” when he is physically there.  So this team wasn’t too different from the one the Bulls beat at the Verizon Center in DC a few weeks back. So with nothing short of a blowout expected in my head I was looking for some other motivating factor in watching my favorite team play a glorified scrimmage.

My motivating factor came in the form of a 7’0” human pogo stick named JaVale McGee. Anyone who watched all-star weekend knows that he can dunk with the best of them. Anyone who’s watched a Wizards game, okay anyone who’s watched a Wizards game because they’re favorite team was playing the Wizards, has had to have seen at some point or another that JaVale McGee swats shots with the regularity that new reality tv shows pop up on Fox. He’s got 150 in only 59 games and probably altered that many shots if not more and after last night’s 12 block performance will probably have people in the paint gun shy and looking around before putting up a weak effort.

His leaping ability and long arms, not to meantion he’s a legit 7-footer, means he should be snagging boards with regularity. His 7.7 boards a game seem a bit low when you watch him play. Part of that is the fact he only plays about 26 minutes a game either due to matchups or his nack for picking up bad fouls in a hurry forcing him to the bench. In looking back at his game long when he’s played 30+ minutes he generally grabs double digits off the glass.

Double-double’s should be a frequent occurrence for JaVale, but after watching his offensive display, or something to that effect, late in the fourth quarter in an attempt to secure his first career triple double I’m going to say that they’re more likely to happen with blocks/boards than they are with points being a component. It became obvious after a few possessions of watching him attempt every offensive post move he’s seen every good post player do flawlessly that he was trying too hard to get the last bucket he needed. It almost  became comical watching him come out of his shell and become something he’s not, an offensive force.

Phil Chanier and Steve Buckhantz at one point said “You think he knows he’s close to it?” The answer, a resounding “absolutely”. It almost reminded me of a few years ago when Ricky Davis intentionally missed a shot to get the last rebound he needed to secure a triple double. Notice I said almost. It wasn’t that distasteful, but was borderline embarrassing. To see him finally get it on a dunk was fitting. To see him hang on the rim and get a technical foul called for his moment of celebration with this team down by almost 20 with under a minute to go was a bit embarrassing.

For that last 4-5 minutes of the game it was clearly about McGee and no one else. I could see it. The Wizards play by play announcers could see it. The 22,103 fans in the United Center could see it. Well maybe not all of them, because I’m sure some started filing out halfway through the fourth. I know Flip Saunders had to see it. Was he aware of McGee only needing one more basket? Even if an assistant coach hadn’t told him, I’m sure he’s never seen JaVale that agressive and press on the offensive end in a while, maybe ever, so an alert should’ve gone off to take him out at that point. He clearly had enough attempts at it. Maybe he wanted to let him have his moment? At any rate I congratulate JaVale McGee for having the most blocks in an NBA game since Keon Clark had 12 back in 2001 and for his first career triple double. I just wish it would’ve come in a way that when he looks back on it, even he would have to admit wasn’t one of his better games.

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  1. Rich, 10 years ago Reply

    McGee is a goof for how he celebrated that dunk with 3 mins left in a blow out…thats a me first player

  2. MIkee, 10 years ago Reply

    Its ridiculous to that. Team shud always come first, no matter the personal accoldades. Well written!

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