JaVale McGee Not Smart Enough to Play in NBA Finals, Says Cavaliers Player

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistMay 30, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - MAY 8: JaVale McGee #1 of the Golden State Warriors leads the bench in celebrating a basket during their game against the Utah Jazz in Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Vivint Smart Home Arena on May 8, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images

Two days before Game 1 of the NBA Finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers provided JaVale McGee and the Golden State Warriors with bulletin board material. 

Appearing on Tuesday's edition of ESPN's The Basketball Analogy Show (h/t DefPen.com), ESPN.com's Dave McMenamin told colleague Brian Windhorst that one Cavs player doesn't believe McGee is mentally equipped to compete in the Finals. 

"I had a Cavs player disagree with your opinion of McGee, Brian. He postulated to me that he doesn't even think McGee's gonna be able to get on the court or certainly not stay on the court because he doesn't think he's quote, unquote 'smart enough' to be able to play in this series." 

McGee will be run through a defensive gauntlet if he's asked to match up against the sharpshooting Kevin Love or rim-running Tristan Thompson, but he has acquitted himself nicely to this point in the postseason. 

Through 12 playoff games, McGee has averaged 7.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 10.5 minutes a night. The Warriors have outscored opponents by 26.3 points per 100 possessions during his 126 minutes on the floor, according to NBA.com's lineup data, compared to 14.0 points per 100 possessions when he's on the bench.

Although McGee has proved to be an effective rim protector during the Dubs' undefeated postseason run, the Cavaliers figure to jump at the opportunity to expose his defensive deficiencies on perimeter switches to keep him off balance.