Why is it that JaVale McGee is playing very well now that the Lakers have nothing to play for? There’s no reason that all these lobs from LeBron and Rondo couldn’t have been happening with this amount of regularity earlier in the season, back when each win meant a better chance of making the playoffs. Was it Lonzo Ball’s fault that McGee wasn’t being used as a lob vacuum like he has been the past three games?
Actually, I think I remembered the reason. How silly of me to speculate and cast blame when the reason is right in front of me! The Lakers, for no reason at all that I can discern, traded Ivica Zubac for Mike Muscala. While that was a disastrous trade from a personnel perspective, it did open up a lot of minutes for McGee, because Muscala isn’t playable if he’s not shooting the ball well. And the Tyson Chandler injury to the mix and you’ve got a recipe for a metric buttload of McGeeage.
Since the Lakers don’t really have any particular reason to appease McGee (he signed a one-year minimum deal this off-season), they wouldn’t have to be giving him 30 MPG here at the end of the season. But there’s a serious lack of playable big men on the Lakers roster right now, which means that McGee gets all the minutes even if the only gain the Lakers get from it is crowd-entertaining alley oops all game long. I hope that the next team that signs McGee commits to utilizing him in this way for a whole season. Just for laughs. And entertainment. And WHAMJAMS.