LAS VEGAS - JULY 24: Kevin Durant #5 of the 2010 USA Basketball Men's National Team drives against JaVale McGee #14 of the 2010 USA Basketball Men's National Team during a USA Basketball showcase at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 24 2010 in Las Vegas Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
I didn't get a chance to see JaVale McGee during yesterday's Team USA scrimmage, but I heard he didn't play all that well. In lieu of actual analysis, here are some links on his play:
Before the game, Team USA Managing Director Jerry Colangelo said that the team could keep all 15 players until it is forced to submit its final roster on Aug. 26. But afterward, both Colangelo and Coach Mike Krzyzewski said they might inform the 12 players that they plan to keep, while letting the remaining players hang around and practice with the team.
McGee, added back to the team last week only after Brook Lopez was forced to pull out because of mononucleosis, is likely on the outside looking in. Chandler can serve as the prototypical center and Odom adds some much-needed versatility and playmaking ability at the position.
"All these guys have done a good job, but at some point, you have to move on," Krzyzewski said.
(The good news: McGee reportedly wanted to go on the early bus tomorrow to get extra work. That's good to hear).
He didn't help his cause with his play on Thursday, throwing up a backwards shot as he lost his balance in the lane on his first touch, and then following that up with a shaky 15-foot jumper (which he shouldn't be taking at all on this team). But he's still one of just two centers left on the roster.
So you definitely take him to Europe for the three exhibitions there, just in case Tyson Chandlergets injured. But what happens if Chandler gets injured in one of the first few games of the World Championship? There are no injury replacements or inactive list. That 12-man roster which needs to be submitted two days before the tournament begins is as final as final can be.
So is McGee one of the 12, in case of emergency? Maybe. Or maybe the staff feels that even if Chandler got hurt, they'd still feel more comfortable with Lamar Odom and Kevin Love manning the center position than throwing McGee out there and hoping he doesn't make too many mistakes.
I think, in writing the above paragraph, I just convinced myself that McGee doesn't make the team. We'll see.
Tyson Chandler looked good, JaVale McGee did not. He struggled to find his way and his shot selection was, um, questionable. Despite Team USA's lack of size he may be on the chopping block.
They could cut one more guard, likely either Rajon Rondo or Russell Westbrook, although they have looked good in the limited action we've seen. They could cut JaVale McGee who did not look good in Thursday night's scrimmage, but that would leave Team USA with one true center in Tyson Chandler then guys like Kevin Love trying to fill in. Or they could cut both Green and Granger. Or... you get the idea, there are a lot of options there.