THE VALE OF CASHMERE A.K.A. LaVALE I MEAN JaVALE MCGEE!!!1!
McGee helped the Wiz even their preseason record at 1-1 by coming off the bench to score 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting with eight rebounds and three blocks. He outplayed Grizzlies rookie center Marc Gasol (the younger brother of Pau) who you may remember, was not a bad player on that Spanish National team in the Olympics …
The most impressive things about McGee so far, in order, 1) He’s not the least bit intimidated … No woofing and fake tough guy stuff, just ball.
2) As I’ve written several times, he’s very, very, very athletic …
3) His shot is smooth for a 7-footer. He’s going to make those 10-15 footers on a consistent basis because he has good, sound stroke and he shoots it way over his head where nobody is going to block it.
The last time I read preseason praise like that for a Wiz first-round rookie 7-footer, Kwame was on the receiving end! So, yeah, maybe too soon to be shaking off the loss of BTH, but it’s not like the sky’s falling, Wilbon.
Regardless of McGee’s play, Etan is back and Blatche continues to improve. There will be some regular season dropoff in frontcourt production, sure, but they should be alright and just fine come playoff time. Plus, Caron’s at 100% and can carry this team (30 ppg?) until the scorers return.
And it’s not like the Wiz haven’t dealt with adversity before (see: Gil and Caron missing lots of time each of the past two seasons). They’ve played through it to make the playoffs four seasons running and still have enough to get there again, hopefully at full strength this time around.