Golden State Warriors: JaVale McGee swats Kenneth Faried’s soul (VIDEO)

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MAY 22: JaVale McGee
SAN ANTONIO, TX - MAY 22: JaVale McGee /

The Golden State Warriors’ backup center JaVale McGee made a huge block on Kenneth Faried in his star-studded pickup game in New York.

JaVale McGee is incredibly athletic. Standing at seven feet tall, he also has really long arms. All of these things together can lead to some pretty spectacular highlight plays.

The Golden State Warriors use him in a limited role. He serves as a change-of-pace center. Like how NFL teams have a backup running back with a different skill set than the starter, that’s what McGee is to Zaza Pachulia.

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His athleticism can energize the team. This normally manifests itself on the offensive end. He usually catches a lob or throws down a putback slam over a defender.

Sometimes, though, the entire JaVale McGee package comes together defensively. While he’s not a consistent defender, he has the tools to do something pretty awesome every now and then. That’s basically a fancy way of saying that he gets a big block every once in a while.

He did that during his star-studded pickup game in New York. McGee joined Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Hoodie Melo, and others for some friendly, high-level competition. While he didn’t have as many highlight plays as some of the other guys, he had one pretty good one.

Kenneth Faried was pushing the ball in transition. McGee was retreating as his former teammate went up for the layup. The defending champ rose up and slapped the basketball out of the air as hard as he good, forcing both the Spalding and the Manimal flying.

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There was some body contact, but it looked like a clean block. It was great timing and an even better display of athleticism from McGee. Though he didn’t blossom into the star many thought he would, Faried is still an athletic finisher around the rim, making the play even more impressive.

McGee and Faried were both in Denver at one point. If McGee can defend the rim at a higher level this upcoming season, then he’ll surely find himself on the floor more often. No one is expecting him to be Rudy Gobert at the rim, but if he can really focus in on making smart plays on that end, Steve Kerr will have no choice but to play him.