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JaVale McGee gave the Nation a glimpse of his talent in the opening round of the playoffs.
JaVale McGee: Age 24
May 4, 2012. It was Game 3 of the first round of the playoffs. The matchup was supposed to be fairly uneventful. The heavily favored and star-studded Los Angeles Lakers would use their superior interior skill, anchored by twin towers Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, to control the boards and thus the pace of the series against the Denver Nuggets.
Until Game 3 things had gone according to plan. The Lakers had won the first two contests at home and now were looking to put Denver in a nearly impossible 3-0 hole.
JaVale McGee was having none of it.
McGee was dominant and as the game wore on McGee asserted himself with increasing impact. By the end of the 99-84 Denver victory McGee had amassed 16 points, 15 rebounds and three blocked shots. His presence on the floor was disruptive and the Lakers had no answer for his combination of size, length, quickness and leaping ability.
When the Nuggets won Game 5 McGee struck for 21 points and 14 boards.
The Lakers would go on to win the series, but the player who exceeded expectations throughout the seven-game tilt was none other than JaVale McGee. The same JaVale McGee who had become infamous for a number of well-documented YouTube clips, none of which were complimentary to McGee's basketball skills.
McGee looks poised to become one of the NBA's best big men. He's only 24 years old; the immaturity he had become famous for may be on it's way out, replaced by a mature and very gifted, athletic big man.