Dwight Powell or JaVale McGee?
In December of 2014 the Dallas Mavericks made a trade with the Boston Celtics to acquire Rajon Rondo in what was supposed to be a blockbuster move. I’m sure I don’t need to explain how that panned out.
The trade wasn’t a total bust; the Mavericks also received Dwight Powell, whom at the time was a rookie out of Stanford. He would spend the 2015 season like most second-round picks, bouncing back and forth between the Developmental League and the end of the Mavs bench.
The question at the end of last season — “would Powell crack the rotation in his second season?”
Well, Powell was determined to prove he can play and took advantage by improving during the off-season and showing out in the Summer League for the Mavs.
“No one works harder than Dwight Powell,” Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said.
Powell averaged a near double-double in six games, posting 18.8 points and 9.2 rebounds a game while being named to the All-NBA Summer League second team.
During the summer, the Mavericks had all their eggs in one basket going for DeAndre Jordan in free agency. Again, we all know how this panned out so I will stay off my soapbox, but the Mavericks were left center less.
Dallas soon acquired Zaza Pachulia (a diamond in the rough) and then sign the Shaqtin’ a Fool-prone JaVale McGee.
McGee at his peak averaged just below 60 percent from two and five blocks per 48 minutes. The signing made plenty of sense for the Mavericks as they needed a high flying shot blocker that could protect the rim … if healthy.
The biggest downfall is that McGee has struggled to stay healthy after he suffered a season-ending left leg stress fracture in 2014. He would start the season for the Mavericks, missing the first 13-games and a total of 22 thus far.
“I’m definitely getting back to that elite level. The injuries really slowed me down, so I’m definitely going to get 100 percent healthy and come out and give it my all,” McGee said.
Which leads me to the question, who do you want to see on the floor, Powell or McGee?
Before you make your final decision, let’s look at some numbers from both players.
Now remember, Powell played backup behind Pachulia at the center position while McGee was sidelined.
In the only two game of October, Powell averaged 18 minutes, 10.5 points and seven rebounds. I know a small sample but I don’t want to leave any stone unturned.
November: 20.7 minutes, 8.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 0.9 blocks;
December: 16.1 minutes, 6.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and 0.2 blocks;
January: 13.5 minutes, 4.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and 0.3 blocks.
As you can see, the return of McGee in late November caused a decrease in Powell’s production. In the only four games McGee played in November he averaged 10.5 minutes, 6.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and no blocks.
December: 9.6 minutes, 3.1 points, 3.3 rebounds and 0.7 blocks;
January: 12.8 minutes, 6.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks.
Since McGee is now the go-to backup for the center position, Powell is only seeing minutes at the power forward position, but should he see more time at the center position? By the numbers he has performed well when playing at both positions as he is on the court longer.
Another point of view is that McGee’s numbers have increased as his playing time per game continues to rise.
So for the third time, who should receive more playing time, Dwight Powell or JaVale McGee?
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