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JaVale McGee completed a perfect around-the-back dribble only to blow a layup


We usually use this space to laugh at (or with!) JaVale McGee. We know how often he is featured on Shaqtin’ a Fool, and we have all watched looping Vines of his antics for minutes at a time. Today, we’re not going to chuckle at McGee’s missed layup at the end of this play. No, let’s be proud that he made it so far.

Let’s go step by step.

  1. First, that score — 4-2 with six minutes and 15 seconds left in the first quarter!? Goodness.
  2. As a rebounder, McGee’s usually wanted directly under the rim, where his length and athleticism makes the most sense. But in the middle of the lane, he was in the perfect place for this carom. Can you blame him for snagging it and looking upcourt?
  3. But oh no — trouble falls when Joe Ingles blocks his path. I thought for sure that ball was flying into the first row when McGee attempted that around-the-back dribble ... but it works! It actually worked!
  4. So McGee loses it driving to the rim, right? Or it comes flying out of his hands trying to dunk it? Or he gets rejected by the rim and the ball bounces back into his face? Surely one of these things happens, right?
  5. No, poor McGee misses because he puts a little too much on his finger roll. That’s it. That’s the only reason.

The universe is a cruel place. That ball could have caught the lip of the front rim and rolled back in, giving McGee a highlight to tweet at anyone making Shaqtin’ jokes about him. But no, it wasn’t meant to be.