1: JaVale McGee
Ranking JaVale McGee as the worst starter on the Lakers and most likely to be rotated out of the starting line-up is a painful sentence to write.
One of the most likable players in recent memory, JaVale McGee brings joy and an infectious enthusiasm to the Lakers that the likes of DJ Mbenga, Mark Madsen, Metta World Peace, and JaVale’s good friend Nick “Swaggy P” Young brought to the Lakers.
JaVale loves being a Laker, it is painted across his face and as fans of the purple and gold, we love players who love being Lakers.
I won’t paint JaVale in a bad light. He has done everything he can to be a great teammate and when on the court, you can tell that he is trying to do his best for the team and to help out his teammates.
His teammates love JaVale just as much as the fans do. Unfortunately what lets JaVale down is that he is capped in terms of what he can do.
JaVale right now is playing at a decent level but the worrying thing for the purple and gold is that this level of play might just be the best he can do and for a team with Championship or bust aspirations, having a player who respectfully is limited on both ends of the floor might become a hindrance the later we get into the playoffs.
We all wish that JaVale could find his richest vain that he showed over the last 2 years and block shots at an elite rate, alter shots at the rim and run the floor for easy dunks and lobs and grab rebounds like Andre Drummond but while some of that is available to him, the big efforts from JaVale are few and far between.
The minutes the coaching staff have given JaVale in round 1 of the series might be an indicator of what is going to happen to him moving forward in the playoffs. His minute’s averages from the regular season to playoffs have dropped from 16.6 to 13.4.
With respect to JaVale, in 3.2 fewer minutes, he is averaging pretty much identically what he did in the regular season but the dwindling in minutes does not bode well for him for the rest of the playoffs.