Is Javale Mcgee a Good Defender?

Morgan Wolf

JaVale McGee is a professional basketball player in the NBA, known for his defensive abilities as a center. He has played for several teams throughout his career, including the Washington Wizards, Denver Nuggets, and Golden State Warriors, and is currently a member of the Dallas Mavericks.

McGee’s defensive skills have been a key component of his success in the league, as he has proven to be a strong rim protector and shot-blocker. However, while McGee’s defensive abilities are generally well-regarded, there are still questions about his overall impact on the defensive end of the court, as well as areas where he could improve his game.

In this article, we will examine JaVale McGee’s defense, including his skillset, impact, statistics, reputation, and weaknesses, to gain a better understanding of his contributions to his team’s defensive efforts.


Is Javale Mcgee a Good Defender?

As of the 2021-2022 NBA season, JaVale McGee has a defensive rating of 110.5, which is slightly above the league average. However, his value as a defender cannot be fully assessed based on this statistic alone.

McGee has always been known for his athleticism and shot-blocking abilities, as evidenced by his first career triple-double which included 12 blocks. He has also been a key contributor on championship teams such as the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Lakers.

While McGee may not be the most consistent defender in the league, his length, agility, and timing make him a valuable asset on the defensive end. He is particularly effective at contesting shots and altering opponents’ attempts near the rim.

Moreover, McGee’s defensive impact extends beyond just his individual play. He is known for his ability to communicate and help organize his team’s defense. His presence on the court often leads to increased defensive intensity and better overall team defense.

JaVale McGee is a solid defender who brings athleticism, shot-blocking, and communication to his team’s defense. While he may have some flaws in his game, his value as a defender should not be overlooked.

Mcgee’s Defensive Skillset

JaVale McGee’s defensive skillset is anchored by his athleticism and length. Standing at 7 feet tall with a 7’6″ wingspan, McGee has the physical tools to disrupt shots and alter the trajectory of opposing players. He possesses the rare combination of size and speed that allows him to contest shots effectively in the paint.

One of McGee’s key strengths is his shot-blocking abilities. Throughout his career, he has shown a remarkable ability to swat shots away from the rim. He has averaged 1.5 blocks per game for his career and has led the league in blocks per game twice. In addition to his ability to block shots, McGee is also adept at altering shots with his length and timing.

Another aspect of McGee’s defensive skillset is his ability to contest shots near the rim. His length and athleticism enable him to recover quickly and contest shots even after being initially beaten by an opponent.

He has a good understanding of how to use his length to close off angles and make it difficult for opponents to get good looks at the basket. Overall, McGee’s athleticism, length, shot-blocking abilities, and ability to contest shots near the rim make him a valuable defender in the NBA.

Mcgee’s Defensive Impact

JaVale McGee’s defensive impact extends beyond his individual abilities. He has demonstrated an ability to communicate effectively with his teammates and help organize the team’s defense. His experience and understanding of the game allow him to read offensive schemes and make adjustments to his team’s defensive strategy accordingly.

McGee’s presence on the court often leads to an increase in defensive intensity. His shot-blocking abilities and overall defensive energy can create momentum and excitement for his team. He is known for his hustle and willingness to go after loose balls, which can inspire his teammates to elevate their play as well.

McGee’s defensive contributions can also lead to better overall team defense. His ability to contest shots and alter opponents’ attempts near the rim can make it more difficult for opponents to score, which can have a ripple effect on the rest of the team’s defense.

Additionally, his shot-blocking can create opportunities for his team to push the ball in transition, leading to easy scoring opportunities on the other end of the court. Overall, McGee’s communication, intensity, and impact on team defense make him a valuable asset on the defensive end of the court.

Mcgee’s Defensive Statistics

When analyzing JaVale McGee’s defensive abilities, there are several statistical measures that can be used to evaluate his impact on the court. One of the most commonly used statistics is defensive rating, which estimates the number of points per 100 possessions a player allows while on the court.

McGee’s defensive rating for the current season is 110.5, which is slightly worse than the league average defensive rating of 109.7. However, it’s important to note that defensive rating doesn’t capture all aspects of a player’s defensive impact, and it’s not always a reliable measure of a player’s overall defensive ability.

In addition to defensive rating, there are other relevant defensive statistics that can be used to evaluate McGee’s defensive contributions. One such statistic is block percentage, which measures the percentage of opposing two-point field goal attempts that a player blocks while on the court. McGee’s career block percentage is 5.8%, which is well above the league average.

Another important defensive statistic is defensive win shares, which estimates the number of wins a player contributes to his team through his defensive contributions. McGee’s career defensive win shares per 48 minutes is 0.131, which is above the league average for his position.

Overall, while defensive rating is one measure of McGee’s defensive impact, there are other statistics that suggest he is a valuable defender in the NBA.

Mcgee’s Reputation as a Defender

JaVale McGee has developed a reputation as a solid defender in the NBA. This reputation has been largely shaped by the opinions of media members and other players. Many media members have praised McGee’s defensive abilities throughout his career.

For example, former NBA coach and current ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy has called McGee “a really good rim protector” and “a good help-side defender.” Similarly, former NBA player and current analyst Jalen Rose has referred to McGee as “a really good defensive player.”

Other players in the NBA have also recognized McGee’s defensive abilities. For example, Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry has praised McGee’s shot-blocking abilities, calling him a “game-changer” on the defensive end. McGee’s former teammate with the Denver Nuggets, Jamal Murray, has referred to him as a “big-time defender.”

When comparing McGee to other NBA defenders, it’s clear that he ranks among the top shot-blockers in the league. His career block percentage of 5.8% is higher than that of other notable defenders such as Rudy Gobert and Joel Embiid. However, it’s important to note that shot-blocking is just one aspect of defense, and there are other defenders who may be more well-rounded than McGee.

Overall, while opinions on McGee’s defensive abilities may vary, there is no doubt that he has developed a reputation as a solid defender in the NBA.

Mcgee’s Defensive Weaknesses

Despite JaVale McGee’s reputation as a solid defender, there are some weaknesses in his defensive game that are worth noting. One area of concern for McGee is inconsistency. While he is capable of making game-changing plays on defense, he has also been known to have lapses in concentration that lead to defensive breakdowns.

This inconsistency can be frustrating for coaches and teammates alike, and it highlights the importance of maintaining focus throughout the game.

Another weakness in McGee’s defensive game is his struggles defending in space. While he is a strong rim protector, he can be vulnerable when defending in pick-and-roll situations or when asked to switch onto smaller, quicker players. This can lead to mismatches on the perimeter and can make it more difficult for his team to defend effectively.

Finally, McGee’s aggressive style of play can sometimes lead to fouls and turnovers. He has been known to commit unnecessary fouls when contesting shots or trying to make a play on the ball, and his tendency to go for blocks can leave him out of position on the defensive end.

Additionally, his offensive struggles (such as poor passing and ball-handling skills) can lead to turnovers and fast-break opportunities for the opposing team.

While these weaknesses are certainly areas of concern, they do not negate the fact that McGee is a valuable defender in the NBA. By addressing these weaknesses and continuing to develop his defensive game, he can become an even more effective player on that end of the court.

Javale Mcgee’s Defensive Statistics Comparison

SeasonTeamGames PlayedDefensive RatingBlocks per GameSteals per GameRebounds per Game
2020-21Cleveland Cavaliers33112.
2019-20Los Angeles Lakers61106.
2018-19Los Angeles Lakers75107.
2017-18Golden State Warriors65102.
2016-17Golden State Warriors77101.
2015-16Dallas Mavericks34106.

This table compares JaVale McGee’s defensive statistics over the past six seasons, including his defensive rating, blocks per game, steals per game, and rebounds per game. McGee’s performance on the defensive end of the court can be analyzed over time, and any trends or changes in his defensive abilities can be identified.


How does JaVale McGee compare to other NBA centers in terms of defense?

JaVale McGee is generally regarded as a solid defender, but his defensive abilities are not necessarily elite compared to other NBA centers. While he is a strong rim protector and shot-blocker, he can struggle when defending in space and against quicker players on the perimeter.

What is JaVale McGee’s defensive rating?

JaVale McGee’s defensive rating varies from season to season, but his current defensive rating for the 2020-21 NBA season is 110.5, which is slightly above the league average.

How does JaVale McGee’s defense impact his team’s performance?

JaVale McGee’s defense can have a significant impact on his team’s performance. When he is playing well on the defensive end, he can provide energy and intensity that can elevate the entire team’s defensive play. Additionally, his shot-blocking abilities and rim protection can make it more difficult for opponents to score in the paint.

What are some areas where JaVale McGee can improve his defense?

Some areas where JaVale McGee could improve his defense include maintaining consistency throughout the game, defending in space, and avoiding unnecessary fouls and turnovers. Additionally, he could work on his positioning and footwork to better defend the pick-and-roll and other perimeter plays.

How does JaVale McGee’s defensive impact change based on his role on the team?

JaVale McGee’s defensive impact can vary based on his role on the team. When he is a starter or playing significant minutes, his impact can be greater, as he has more opportunities to make plays and impact the game defensively. When he is a bench player or playing fewer minutes, his impact may be more limited.

Final Thoughts

JaVale McGee is generally considered to be a solid defender in the NBA. His athleticism, length, shot-blocking abilities, and ability to contest shots at the rim make him a valuable asset on the defensive end.

Additionally, his communication skills and ability to organize the defense can lead to improved team defense and increased defensive intensity.

However, McGee does have some weaknesses in his defense, including inconsistency, struggles defending in space, and a tendency to commit fouls and turnovers. Overall, while JaVale McGee may not be an elite defender, his defensive abilities are a valuable asset to any team he plays for.

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Morgan Wolf

Journalist with experience covering the intersection of sports with business. Demonstrated expertise in digital, video and social media content covering major sports including soccer, NBA, NFL, MLB, tennis and Olympic sports. But basketball is his passion. Specialties: expert for sports related content management LinkedIn

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