Denver Nuggets Season Success Revolves Around McGee

When JaVale McGee  was acquired by the Denver Nuggets two seasons ago from the Washington Wizards, Mile High City fans were very optimistic.

McGee is an exception to the rule. He is a 7-footer who possesses incredible athletic prowess, whose talents did not completely materialize while with the Wizards.

After more than two seasons since McGee’s arrival the Nuggets do not have much to show for their trade to acquire McGee except for  less production and an injury that cost McGee nearly the entire 2013-14 season.

 McGee upon the start of the season will enter his third with the Nuggets. Denver needs the production from McGee this season that convinced them to trade for him if they hope to be a factor of any kind in the talented Western Conference.

McGee could be a deciding factor in the Western Conference as there are few if any athletic big men who can contend with the likes of him.

Besides Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka and Los Angeles’ DeAndre Jordan no other big men in the West come close. McGee likely has an advantage over Jordan and Ibaka as well.

Of course, athleticism by itself is not the answer to league success, but when 50% of your games are played in an altitude of over 5,100 feet, it gives you quite an advantage.

At the wings and in the backcourt there is loads of talent in the Western Conference and Denver can be competitive in each of those areas. However, at center is where the Nuggets could separate themselves for the pack, thanks to McGee.

If McGee becomes an important part of the rotation Head Coach Brian Shaw uses, he will become a disrupting force in the middle making opponents rely more often on lower percentage shots.

McGee has never played his strongest game with his back to the basket and making him start that now does not make any sense.

McGee could go a long way in helping the Nuggets to return to the form they had in 2012-13 when they reached the playoffs and were threatening to be a disruptive force in the postseason.

Injuries decimated their chances in 2013-14 and McGee was only one of the players lost to Denver.

Nate Robinson, J.J. Hickson and Danilo Gallinari are all recovering from injuries as well.

Each has his own rehab program but all three have the same goal in mind – return to form and help the Nuggets to become a strong contender for the playoffs once again.

The three are recovering from ACL injuries and Steve Hess the team’s condition and strength coach calls all three warriors.

The three have targeted a return to the court sometime during Denver’s training camp, during the preseason or at the latest early on during the regular season.

Adding McGee to that trio, as he recovers from a stress fracture in his leg, represents the short-term future of the Nuggets.

With the four players healthy and on the floor, the Nuggets could be a dangerous team out west. However, if the group of four does not return to form early the Nuggets season could be a long and disappointing one.

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