Thing JaVale McGee brings to Dallas Mavericks: 3. Rim protection
The Mavs reached the conference finals without a rim protector. After the Kristaps Porzingis trade at the deadline, Maxi Kleber was the only player on their roster that averaged more than 0.6 blocks per game. The 6’10 forward is more of a weak-side shot-blocker than a true rim protector, and Luka Doncic was second on the team in blocks.
The Mavericks wanted to add a deterrent in the paint, and they found one in McGee. He had the sixth-highest per minute block rate in the NBA, but it goes beyond that. The 34-year-old allowed the opposition to shoot just 60.1 percent in the restricted area when he was on the floor, and his defensive field goal percentage differential within six feet of the rim was the tenth highest in the league.
McGee will not play massive minutes next season, but he will limit shots inside when he is on the floor. According to NBA Stats defensive impact metric, McGee had the seventh-highest among those who played 50 games last season.
Drive at your own risk when JaVale McGee is on the floor. He will give the Dallas Mavericks and head coach Jason Kidd another unique option to use in the playoffs. McGee will be a deterrent inside when he is in the game, and that could pay dividends for Dallas as they look to make another deep playoff run.