Signed by the Mavericks during free agency in July after being promised a starting job, JaVale McGee has indeed started all six games he has played so far this season in Dallas. However, he hasn’t logged more than 14 minutes in any of those games, and was on the court for a season-low eight minutes on Wednesday vs. Utah.
With Dwight Powell, a full-time starter last season, playing more than McGee in each of the last three games, head coach Jason Kidd was asked about the Mavericks’ first-quarter struggles and whether Powell could move into the starting five in McGee’s place. As Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News tweets, Kidd first joked that he’d do it if he could start six players, then admitted it would be “something we talk about.”
As Tim MacMahon of ESPN notes (via Twitter), the Mavs have been a minus-30 in 68 minutes with McGee on the court, compared to a plus-50 in 56 minutes when Powell plays. Powell also earned a rave review on Wednesday from Spencer Dinwiddie, who spoke to reporters for upwards of four minutes about the big man, praising him for doing “a glory-less job” that allows his teammates to succeed, per Eddie Sefko of Mavs.com.
“In a lot of ways, he’s like that great left guard for a football team where Tom Brady is getting all the accolades and endorsements but if that dude isn’t protecting his blind side and isn’t doing it every single time, Tom Brady is getting his head knocked off,” Dinwiddie said. “DP is the ultimate pro. I have the upmost respect for him and I hope every single Mavs fan listens to this monologue and has a different respect level for DP because everybody is not going to get to shoot 20 times and score 30 points and do all of the flashy stuff and dunk and stuff.”
Here’s more from around the Southwest:
- Pelicans forwards Brandon Ingram (concussion) and Herbert Jones (knee) have both been listed as probable for Friday’s game vs. Golden State, the team announced in a press release. Jones was initially listed as probable for New Orleans’ game on Wednesday before being downgraded to questionable and then out. However, it sounds like the Pels could have both players – neither of whom has played since October 23 – back tonight.
- After missing the first four games of the regular season due to an ankle issue, Rockets forward Jae’Sean Tate played in the next three, but has since missed two more. As Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle writes, the team is trying to play it safe with Tate’s injury going forward. “It’s just a lot of games,” Tate said. “We just want to be cautious with it and make sure it’s fine. There’s just some things we have to discuss so I’ll be able to be consistent and be me. This is just part of the recovery process.”
- Although John Wall was away from the team during his final year in Houston, Rockets guard Kevin Porter Jr. said the five-time All-Star made a lasting impression on him during their time as teammates, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic. “John has impacted me tremendously,” Porter told Iko. “Just him being a big brother and a vet when he was here when I was first switching my position. I had a great vet to lean on and that was John Wall. … He helped me when I was trying to learn how to run a team and seeing him back out there (with the Clippers) was a blessing.”
- Long viewed as a model NBA franchise, the Spurs now face unfamiliar scrutiny as a result of the accusations levied against the team in a lawsuit filed by a former employee, says Mike Finger of The San Antonio Express-News.