JaVale McGee growing into role with Nuggets

Doug Pensinger

The Denver Nuggets are slowly working the instincts and confidence into JaVale McGee's game.

JaVale McGee has become less of a mind-boggling YouTube highlight and more of a legitimate big man with upside of late. Since joining the Denver Nuggets and then being rewarded a four-year, $44 million contract, the 7' center has shown signs that he's on the upswing to become more than potential.

The Nuggets aren't pushing the pace faster than it needs to be, however.

Head coach George Karl told The Denver Post what exactly he'd like to see from his backup center.

"He's got to understand that lazy and crazy isn't going to make it work," Karl said. "We want solid and we want fundamental, and we want spectacular but only when it happens, not forcing the action where sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn't."

Part of McGee reaching that goal is instinct. Denver is hoping that playing without much pressure on the second unit and with veteran point guard Andre Miller will help ease McGee into feeling comfortable on the floor. They want him to display his unquestionable instincts and athleticism with a controlled desire -- blocking shots that no other player could block rather than earning goal tends that no player would even think about swatting away.

The Nuggets, however, set out to be patient by offering McGee a four-year deal rather than a two-year contract. And his minutes will increase when his consistency does. In 19 minutes per game this year, he's averaging 10 points, five rebounds and two blocks.

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