BREAKING NEWS: JaVale McGee Out Indefinitely

According to the official Nuggets twitter account, JaVale McGee will be sidelined indefinitely due to a stress fracture in his left tibia. 

Head coach Brian Shaw has not decided if he will start Timofey Mozgov or J.J. Hickson at center for Monday’s game against Utah but either way expect to see both players start logging more time at the position.

The news comes at a bad time for McGee who had already been struggling to stay on the court in a season that was supposed to be his breakout campaign.

Instead of breaking out JaVale has struggled to stay on the floor, averaging just 16 minutes per game this season thanks to a combination of foul trouble, ineffective play and bad decision making.

The injury probably impacts the Denver defense more than anything, as despite JaVale’s troubles making the proper rotation at times he is clearly the best man-to-man post defender on the roster as well as the only real shot blocking threat in the interior. With Hickson seemingly set to absorb some of those minutes at center the rim protection will be completely gone, as Hickson has struggled all year at being in the right place at the right time, allowing uncontested shots at the rim at an alarming pace.

The injury also robs Denver of their best post up threat on offense, which won’t help one of the league’s worst offenses in the early season be fixed soon.

On the bright side the shift of Hickson to center should allow for more minutes for Darrell Arthur, who has showed a level of defensive position that most other Nuggets big men have struggled to come near.  While the Hickson/Arthur combination has been really bad all season, Arthur was on the floor for a large part of the Nugget’s third quarter comeback in Phoenix on Friday as his offensive spacing helped open the lane up for Ty Lawson and his defense helped slow down the Suns a bit.

The injury should also mean more minutes for Mozgov who has been one of the brightest spots for the Nuggets this season. If he can continue the good work in more minutes, including meaningful end of game ones, it may be hard for JaVale to regain the starting spot once he returns.

 

The following two tabs change content below.
  • heykyleinsf

    That Koufos trade is looking pretty disastrous right about now..

    • Bryan

      Actually, I would say the decision to re-sign Mozgov is looking pretty smart. So far.

      • heykyleinsf

        So far… but last year we had all three. The year before we let Birdman walk away. Maybe Mozzy can develop and endure.. maybe not.. but this team has terrible recent track record about judging talent at the 5.

        • Bryan

          Mozgov was a free agent at the end of the year and almost certainly would not have come back in that scenario (so regardless of the trade we’d still only have one center as a result of the McGee injury). I don’t think Javale factored into the Kofous trade, I think it was about choosing Mozgov over Kofous.

          Also, they didn’t let Birdman walk away. They amnestied him because he was playing like garbage.

          • Poz303

            Well Birdman was amnestied because of his contract and was not getting playing time ahead of the other bigs.

            Mozgov was last man standing after we traded KK. If we hadnt signed Mozgov we would have been left we one true center.

            • gimpcom187

              Birdman was cut because of the scandal that turned out false. KK was traded to make mcgee the starter without a challenger. Arthur makes essentially the same as kk. Mozgov wouldnt have had much playing time though until now. Its a poorly run squad.

              • Bryan

                The scandal was an excuse to let him go. He wasn’t playing well when he got time which is why he was on the bench.

                Mozgov wouldn’t have come back if KK and McGee were still here given the frustrations he expressed about his lack of playing time and desire to play. So we’d just have KK. And I’m guessing Shaw doesn’t think he fits as well into his system as Mozgov does.

              • gimpcom187

                Given Mozzie was restricted and got an offer of 15 million from the nugs and probably no more than that from someone else I doubt he had much of a choice. He was an asset that is tradeable so it is conceivable the nugs just sign him to trade him. It doesn’t really matter though.

                Birdman I’ll take your word. I remember him having a lot of physical health difficulties and If the legal/social issues played a role in his difficulties on the court/ or his demeanor in other places…. His PER is almost identical 2011-12 to 2010-2011 for what that is worth.

              • LBJ

                Bird also had a “bad” contract – and we were able to get cap space for “amnestying” him under the new CBA.

  • Kyle Wurtz

    Opponents shooting 62% at the rim when McGee’s our rim defender…they’re only shooting 43% when it’s Mozgov. Mozgov’s also averaging just 0.4 fewer blocks per game than McGee. If Mozzy keeps playing the way he has been (granted, this could be a big if) and can stay out of foul trouble despite seeing more minutes, it actually seems like this could help with the defensive woes…

    • Nathan Jansen

      Small sample size alert.

      • Kyle Wurtz

        Dude, I’m an actuary…no need to lecture me on the credibility of data sets.

        You’re right that having only played 5 games thus far limits the usability of those stats, but that doesn’t mean that there’s no predictive value in the data, especially when what we’re seeing in the numbers matches what we’re seeing on the court (i.e., McGee soaring into the air after a mediocre pump-fake, leaving the rum unattended for a wide. open. dunk.).

        • gimpcom187

          He didn’t really lecture you he just succinctly stated a fact to suggest the stats should be taken with a grain of salt (you could have written Small sample size in your post and he wouldn’t have written anything). People do that to indicate to other readers more than to ridicule the post. You could have included stats from last year and SSS wouldn’t apply (as much at least).

          That said I agree with your assessment of Mcgee and have given up on him developing into anything beyond an exciting backup since this past March.

        • Nathan Jansen

          You’re comparing one player’s statistical nadir with another player’s statistical apex and all over only 80 minutes of floor time. The only thing that’s likely out of those statistics is that there is going to be some reversion to the mean from both players.

          I agree with your premise but I don’t think the stats you mentioned prove or predict much of anything.

  • Scott

    He’s pretty much on the squad already.

    • Scott

      This is what was meant to show up…

  • Vitor Lago

    No need to rush anyone back from these injuries, McGee, Chandler or Gallo. I would error on the side of caution and keep them all out the entire season like Philly is doing with Noel.

    • Ernie

      I understand your point on Chandler and Gallo, but McGee needs reps to be any good next year.

      • gimpcom187

        He also needs to learn how to play basketball.

  • Darius

    Idk if this is good news or bad news the way McGee has been playing lately..

  • Len Nunes

    With Hickson at center, power forward shakes down to Faried as your undisputed starter and Arthur your defensive sub.

    • Poz303

      True, so we will be pretty much in a small line-up for the majority of the season. This is in the western conference. Can things get any worse?

      • Len Nunes

        don’t tempt fate, all this lottery BS becomes too real if Lawson goes down.
        The old cliché is “one game at a time” Mozgov vs Kanter is a winnable matchup for the Nugs

        • gimpcom187

          Just to be clear the best scenario for this team is an injury to ty that takes 2-3 months but does not significantly alter his career. This team is already lottery bound. Its a question of 13th pick or 8th or top 5 with a firesale or injuries. Gallo will take 1-2 months after return to be near last season output.

          • LBJ

            I see CBS sports has the nuggets ranked 29th (only ahead of Utah).

            • gimpcom187

              We’ll see after this evening. ;-).

          • Len Nunes

            i’m not here to argue “how” to cheer for the Nugs, i’m just stating i’m still waving the playoffs flag

            • gimpcom187

              I didn’t tell you “how” to cheer, I was just making it clear this team making the playoffs this year is unlikely. I said 7-11 seed in the West in July and my thoughts are that may be optimistic. You indicated them missing the playoffs was “BS” I disagree and have laid out a plan I think helps them the most long term.

              • Len Nunes

                we agree to disagree

              • LBJ

                After watching hoops tonight – Jabari Parker would look great in a Nuggets uniform next year!!

    • Branden Gloudeman

      Faried should be traded

  • Anonymous Brooklynite

    Way past time to get Kroenke to put the franchises up for sale, and get the hell out of sports. Let them screw up Arsenal, but not the Nuggets or the Avs.

    • Russell Hamilton

      Avs and Arsenal are both in first place…how is that screwing them up?

      • LBJ

        Josh isn’t playing GM for the Avs or Arsenal – he is letting the professionals run the teams.

        • Andrew

          Yeah, but you are nuts if you think the Kroenkes are bad owners. I don’t love them, but, for example, have you seen the Rockies?

          • LBJ

            I’ve seen Bowlen as well – and they fall well short. Good owners don’t meddle in day to day operations.

        • Russell Hamilton

          Josh isn’t playing GM for the Nuggets either. He’s doing things with exactly the same involvement he had when Masai was the GM.

          • LBJ

            You mean by taking credit for Ujiri’s work after the fact? No wonder Masai (or any other GM worth their salt) will move on where they don’t answer to Josh.

            • Russell Hamilton

              Masai didn’t move on because of Josh’s involvement. He moved on because he got paid much more than he actually should have been paid, and got to go to a city he loved.

              • LBJ

                More than he should have been paid? Last I checked, under capitalism the free market determines compensation levels. We could have matched Toronto’s offer but didn’t – because Josh is an NBA “expert.” We could have extended him last offseason as well. We could have offered Iggy more money instead of bring in the rejects we did this offseason.

              • Russell Hamilton

                You really should get your facts straight. Masai told Josh not to match the offer, that it wouldn’t make any difference in his decision. As far as his pay, yes, free market does determine it. However, compared to other GMs, even given how well he performed with Denver, he doesn’t really have the track record to support the amount he’s being paid.

                Don’t misunderstand me, Toronto had every right to pay him, and he had every right to take it. I am not saying he might not prove to be worth it. He’s done a very good job, both here and in Toronto so far. Not every move he’s made has turned out to be the great move, though, and we should be willing to question them.

                You have zero evidence of an increase in Josh’s involvement above what he had done before.

              • LBJ

                Frankly, whether Josh’s involvement increased or not after Masai (and you have no evidence that it didn’t) is irrelevant.

                The fact is that Josh’s involvement as an owner is TOO MUCH for a successful franchise – and certainly more than with the Avs or Arsenal (which I notice you have repeatedly ignored).

                Successful GMs with a track record don’t want to run all personnel moves by a meddling owner – who claims credit after the fact for your deals.

  • Poz303

    Does anyone know how and when the injury occurred?

  • Augy

    I wouldn’t be surprised if he wasn’t hurt. This may be management telling him to say he is injured so they can save face. This is an unlikely theory, but I wouldn’t be surprised. They bet everything on McGee, and it was a very bad bet. How many player’s sons don’t have excellent fundamentals? If he doesn’t know the game by now, he’s never going to learn.

    • Anonymous Brooklynite

      Kroenke made fatal mistakes by firing Karl and letting Ujiri go.

      This is the karma that hits back. I want the Kroenkes to sell the Denver teams and let them screw up St. Louis and England.

      • Augy

        The only thing that would make me happy is if the Kroenkes went away. It could happen, Nuggets fans are more fickle than Broncos or even Avalanche fans. They will stop going to the games. There is a new group of passionate fans from the Karl era, but I don’t know how long they will last.

  • Darius

    Maybe we shouldn’t have traded away Rudy Gobert for $5 and a hotdog. Lol

    • Poz303

      too true

    • Nathan Jansen

      We got a hotdog?!

      • LBJ

        The hot dog was probably excessive. The last thing we need is a another clumsy ass goof that looks like he has never set foot on a basketball court before.

  • Ryan fagerberg

    Looks like more ping pong balls for the Nugz might not be the worst thing in the world this year – Wiggins, Parker, Randle all look like studs.

  • googergieger

    I hate to jump on the “it’s time to start tanking” bandwagon, but fudge it. I say we go all in. Problem is we’d be getting boned as far as picks for talent trades go.

  • Dom-Chain Breaker-Buckley

    McGee was playing so bad that I’m not upset at all!!! The 4 man rotation should include more Anthony Randolph as he is one of the strongest pick and roll defenders.

  • Blaze Gunn

    Am i the only one looking at JJ Hickson and feel like we got robbed lmfao its like he literally had our front office at gun point and said pay me and sign nate robinson too?

  • Andrew

    Is there any indication when the injury occurred? I know it’s meaningless at this point, but if it happened awhile ago, maybe that was part of the cause of his poor play. Pain makes poor decision making even poorer. I know…I’m reaching here.

  • Andrew

    I do like the idea of Mozilla and King Arthur playing together. For the stat guys out there, do we have any stats on them playing together previously this season (and.yes, I get that it would be a small sample size)?
    Seems like it might, at least, give us a bit of interior defense, and on offense they can play smart enough to unclog the lane a bit and let the other guys drive the lane and/or get some open shots?
    Also, is Chando back in? Who is starting tonight? If so, I’d like to see Moz/Art/Chando/Fourney/Ty stick to start…

  • heykyleinsf

    I’m sorry but letting go of Birdman was stupid.

    He was playing great with us.
    That’s the crazy part about it all.
    That idea that he was let go because of performance is just completely erroneous. Especially put alongside with how horrible Mozzy and Koufos were playing at the time. We also still had Nene.

    And… before the scandal.. Birdman was unceremoniously benched. I remember it perfectly because I was at the Kings game in Sacramento when we scored an NBA record 92 points in the paint.

    I was looking forward to seeing Bird play because he was playing GREAT. But I also saw him separated from the huddles and clear as a bell.. Bird was in GK’s doghouse.

    Something went down we never publicly heard about.
    But saying he was playing like garbage is bullshit..
    he had the same energy and defense Miami is go greatful for. They love him. He was no small part of their title last year and a high priority to retain him..

    Make up whatever you want about him..
    The Nuggets fxcked that up.

    • Andrew

      Totally agree re Birdman.

    • Bryan

      If you think he was playing great, you have a very loose definition of the word great. His knees were injured which led to him putting on some weight, which led to a decline in his performances and to him getting benched. The majority of Nuggets fans were clamoring for him to be amnestied before he was amnestied. Look it up.

      The reason he played well for Miami is because he was able to get healthy with the time off.

      I’m curious though, if you genuinely believe that Birdman was playing so great, why did it take so long for a team to sign him, shouldn’t other teams have been banging on his door to sign him after Denver’s “mistake.”

      • heykyleinsf

        huh Bryan… gee.. IDK..that’s a toughie..

        maybe..
        the false allegations of being a pedophile he had to deal with?

    • Poz303

      This was the Masai era and Birdman had a very poor contract. I believe he was due some 5 million on his final year so the Nuggets front office (again Masai era) was not prepared to pay a third or fourth man in the bigs rotation 5 million to basically sit on the bench.

  • JB

    I feel bad for McGee, but this is pretty good news for Denver. I wrote a brief post about this

    http://jbsportandpopculture.wordpress.com/2013/11/12/javale-mcgee-sidelined-denver-officially-enters-riggin-for-wiggins/