For what it’s worth, I thought this play was pretty sweet at the time, squinting at the court from my seat a thousand rows above. Still, JaVale McGee made an oops when he threw himself an alley-oop off the backboard during yesterday’s Wizards-Rockets game.
McGee’s play was definitely out of line, but the reprimand he’s receiving for this is largely due to his team’s poor performance. No one would be talking about this if the Wizards were 6-6 or if they had come back to win the game. Of course, McGee making Samuel Dalembert look like Hakeem Olajuwon (20 points on 9-11 shooting) played a big role in the loss.
Here is what head coach (for now) Flip Saunders had to say on the matter.
“Maybe I’m too old-school, but save that for the All-Star Game. That right there is where we have to get to where we identify with meat and potato basketball. Playing hard, setting screens, playing the right way, and not highlight-type play. We’ve said this many times. We have some players that look for highlights instead of substance.”
To put this in context, Saunders pulled McGee right after the dunk and he sat on the bench for the rest of the game. Instead of putting in McGee for a potential stretch run in the 4th quarter, Saunders rolled with pretty much the same tired lineup for the entire 4th quarter and the Wizards were steamrolled inside. Above all, it’s good to see that Flip is still running an undisciplined locker room in DC.
On second thought, do it again, JaVale. Do it all you want.