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Explain One Play: JaVale’s alley-oop gets a re-model

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Watch GSW’s re-model of JaVale McGee’s alley-oop lob play. The league has adjusted to the original relay play, but GSW counters the adjustments against the Atlanta Hawks and gets Stephen Curry a layup. Co-starring Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala, from the Mar 2 2018 Warriors-Hawks game.

NBA: Golden State Warriors at New York Knicks
throw it up, little man, throw it up
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

When JaVale McGee joined the Warriors last season’s preseason, he was a joke and novelty. It wasn’t even clear that he would make the roster, and I wrote at the time:

Okay, I admit I’m not completely rational about JaVale McGee. He’s absolutely a guilty pleasure — an athletic, hustling, active-motor, good locker-room guy with a great attitude ... who makes strangely awkward, out of control plays.

He’s been bullied cruelly on national TV, on “Shaqtin’” .... Yeah, I’m biased. I really want JaVale McGee to make the roster, regain his dignity and self-confidence and succeed. And, certainly, to beat out Anderson Varejao.

He didn’t play much for the first few games, but when he finally got into the rotation, he dunked everything in sight. The Warriors just loved throwing him lobs, stretching the limits of how bad a pass a human can convert. Steve Kerr and company put in a small McGee playbook, and McGee ended up making a big impact in the playoffs against the Portland Trailblazers with their limited bigs.

By the time this season began, teams had scouted McGee and realized they just had to be sure to keep one body between him and the rim in order to jam him on any dives to the rim. His dunk rate went down from 121 in 739 minutes in 16-17 (a dunk every 6.1 min) to 43 in 401 min in 17-18 (a dunk every 9.3 min). And of course, his playing time went way down.

Now that GSW is playing McGee again, they just started to introduce some twists to the McGee playbook to counter the simple adjustment defenders have made. Here is a short video about a twist they introduced with the first play of the Hawks game. Co-starring Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala.

JaVale's Lob Gets a Remodel

Watch GSW's re-model of JaVale McGee's alley-oop lob play. The league has adjusted to the original relay play, but GSW counters the adjustments against the Atlanta Hawks and gets Stephen Curry a layup. Co-starring Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala. By @EricApricot. Full articles and other videos at http://tinyurl.com/ericapricot.

Posted by Golden State of Mind on Monday, March 5, 2018

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