JaVale McGee seems ready to be a starter and a major force for the Denver Nuggets this season.
He’s likely to play a key role for the Nuggets again as a 7-foot, 252-pound center plugging up the middle with his shot blocking threat and standout moves to the hoop.
But McGee simply wants to do what new coach Brian Shaw thinks is necessary to get the Nuggets not only back to the NBA playoffs but deeper into the postseason for 2013-14.
When he played for the Washington Wizards, McGee usually got more starts and better playing time and his stats were slightly better. He averaged 27.4 minutes and 11.9 points, plus 8.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks while starting 40 times for the Wizards, 2011-12, before coming to Denver for the final 20 games and starting five times. He averaged 10.3 points, 5.8 boards and 20.6 minutes for Denver.
Last season, his numbers were down a little bit for the Nuggets with 79 games, no starts and averages of 18.1 points, 9.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game.
But with the firing of coach George Karl and departure of Kosta Koufas, McGee’s impact on the Nuggets’ success, as a result, will be even larger this season as a probable starter.
He did get two starts in the six-game NBA first-round series against the Golden State Warriors but his numbers were generally lower than they were in the regular season.
McGee is also a reliable shooter after hitting 57.5% from the floor last year. He’s a career 54.2 percent shooter and usually does good things with the ball when he has it. He should be a solid player, but especially as a starter, for Denver. Shaw just needs to make sure McGee becomes a smarter and more mature player on the floor.