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Could JaVale McGee actually make Team USA?

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When JaVale McGee was named to practice with Team USA again, I figured it was only because they needed extra practice bodies and because he practiced with them last year.  But as each day passes, I'm starting to believe that there's actually a chance McGee ends up making the roster.

For one thing, the team is very shallow up front.  David Lee, Robin Lopez and Amare Stoudemire have all dropped out due to injury, leaving only Kevin Love, Tyson Chandler, Brook Lopez and Lamar Odom as the other semi-bigs on the roster.  For another, though, McGee is playing quite well.  NBA.com's John Schuhmann is live in Las Vegas and said this about McGee.

After Durant, I think the star of the 10 minutes was McGee. The last-minute addition to the roster was active. He had a block, a couple of interior shot-contests and a few strong rebounds, two of them offensive and one of those a huge put-back dunk off a Durant miss. McGee did go 0-for-2 from the line though.    

And while the primary decision-makers - Jerry Colangelo and Mike Krzyzewski - are playing it close to the vest, they seem impressed by what McGee has done. (Via Michael Lee).

"Well, he's here, he's practicing and certainly he has a shot," Colangelo said of McGee. "And I think, when we go to New York, that will probably have to be one of the areas that we have to make a decision on that might come later rather than sooner. And that's on the bigs."

Mike Krzyzewski, the coach of the U.S. team, did not want to evaluate individual players this early on, but said this week that McGee has "done a good job."

"He's a shot-blocker. He protects the basket really well and he's seven feet tall," the Duke men's basketball coach said. "He brings more height, jumping ability and shot-blocking."

All this is great, great news.  I was impressed with McGee's dedication during Summer League, and being able to practice and potentially even play in a competitive setting like Team USA is exactly what he needs to continue to push him.  There's no better way to reinforce the importance of hard work than by watching guys like Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose go about their business.  McGee seems to be picking those things up, and when you combine that with all his physical tools, the sky really is the limit.