(Erica Rodriguez/Los Angeles Lakers)
2019 Player Capsules: JaVale McGee
JaVale McGee owned the paint on both sides of the floor this season.
Always a threat to score at the hoop, the starting center made 73.4 percent of his shots at the rim — second-best in the NBA. And he locked down the basket on the other end, swatting the league’s fifth-most shots (1.97).
McGee was efficiency personified when it came to his individual offense. The ultra-athletic 7-footer lived off lobs out of pick-and-rolls and rim-runs in transition.
His 62.4 field goal percentage was not just third in the NBA, but also third-best in Lakers history (among qualified players), behind two seasons from the legendary Wilt Chamberlain.
And for all of his offensive success, McGee was even better on the defensive side. He finished the year as one of the league’s premier rim protectors, and the Lakers’ defense reached elite status before he missed seven games due to pneumonia.
By the Numbers
3: Players in franchise history to drop 30 points, 20 rebounds and five blocks in the same game. On March 22 versus Brooklyn, McGee joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O’Neal by racking up 33 points and 20 boards — both career-highs — plus six swats.
52.1: Opponent field goal percentage at the rim with McGee protecting it — fourth-best in the NBA. More than simply a shot blocker, McGee was also able to successfully alter the attempts that he couldn’t get a paw on.
201: Dunks thrown down by McGee, who had the fifth-most slams in the NBA despite missing 14 games.
McGee enters free agency this offseason having averaged a career-best 12.0 points on one of the league’s best shooting percentages.
And on the other side, he proved that he is up to the task of anchoring a defense, as shown by how unsuccessful opponents were when challenging him at the hoop.
But perhaps the most important question he answered was that he is capable of starter-level playing time. McGee averaged fewer than 12 minutes per game in each of his previous four seasons, but carried a 22-minute workload for the Lakers.
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