Over the course of the lockout, JaVale McGee has been seen in several lockout games showing off his excellent athleticism and dunking prowess.
Even though defense is something that is general lacking in these high-scoring affairs, McGee has most importantly tried to showcase some semblance of a post game down low. This is a small step in the right direction, as McGee has proven thus far in his career to have little polish on the offensive end.
He has become quite a confusing player for fans, showing flashes of brilliance and potential but often looking completely lost on offense and taking himself out of plays.
I'm going to use this slideshow to highlight three post moves that would be essential for McGee to master in order to take the next step in becoming the franchise center that many hope he can become. These moves will open up the floor for him and his teammates, as he would most likely command double teams with an improved arsenal of moves.
Hard work and study over the lockout will go a long way into proving whether or not he will ever progress past a few highlight-reel plays a night with little substance.
Arguably one of the most versatile and useful moves for a post player to have, the drop step can set up either a hook shot in the middle of the lane or a quick step towards the baseline for a quick layup. With JaVale’s height, wingspan and leaping ability, it would be nearly impossible for a defensive player to recover and made a good defensive play on either move without committing a foul.
Adding this move would allow McGee to set himself up with his back to the basket to get the dunks and layups that he is accustomed to.
McGee has been known to be erratic on offense, typically relying on offensive putbacks and dunks or layups in transition. If McGee added this move, Flip Saunders could incorporate him more into the offense. McGee would need to be more patient and work on getting good position down low in order to fully execute the drop-step, which will help open up more options to his offensive game.
While this would help him individually, developing a back-to-the-basket game would also allow him to pass out of tough situations, setting up teammates for easy looks as well.
Person to Study Film On: Shaquille O’Neal
In order for McGee to try to execute the drop-step as effectively as O’Neal, he will need to hit the gym over the extended lockout to bulk up when fighting for position down low against larger defenders.
The other move that can be set up by the drop-step is the hook shot. The hook shot has been a staple in the NBA all the way back to when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar made the sky-hook a perfect move for someone with his height and length.
While McGee may never be able to come close to perfecting the sky-hook, developing even a rudimentary version would add versatility to his predictable offensive game.
The best thing to work on for the hook shot to be effective is using both hands. This would allow McGee to post up on either side of the basket and become a dual threat, getting into the lane at will.
The hook shot would allow him to utilize both the baseline and the middle of the lane, which should allow him to factor more into the offense while taking pressure off of his teammates to make plays.
Person to Study Film On: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
As I mentioned above, the sky-hook was probably the hardest post move to stop in the NBA, period. With similar height, and wingspan, McGee is one of the few people on earth that comes close to matching up to the physical attributes that Kareem possessed.
If McGee became competent at using the hook shot, even on his shooting hand alone, it would open up so many more opportunities to get inside and dunk over people. Again, I know it’ll take a lot for him to perfect a hook shot, but even if he could perform a baby hook 8 to 12 feet away from the basket, it would do wonders to his offensive presence.
The spin move is another great move that is effective due to McGee's athleticism. However, learning it would require that McGee work on his dribbling skills. He has been known to make some boneheaded plays where he takes off in transition dribbling the ball on his own. If he were able to harness that skill in the post alone, he should have little problem mastering one of the most useful post moves.
This move would be excellent spinning to either side, setting himself up for a very close shot or layup. This might prove to be the most difficult move for McGee to learn, as it would require him to dribble proficiently enough without losing the ball or getting it stripped during the spin.
If he can get that down consistently, the spin move could become an excellent weapon on its own or even a transition into a hook shot.
Person to Study Film On: Hakeem Olajuwon
Notoriously known for his “Dream Shake,” Hakeem Olajuwon had arguably the most expansive repertoire of offensive post moves of any center of all time. His “Dream Shake” utilized a spin move into a fade-away jump shot.
While McGee is far, far away from developing a jump shot, let alone a fade-away, he could definitely learn how to execute the spin move from one of the best in the business.