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Saturday, March 28, 2020

JaVale McGee excited for Dwight Howard pairing but still expects to start

JaVale McGee

JaVale McGee is not too worried about Dwight Howard’s arrival back in LA.

In an interview this week with Mike Bresnahan of Spectrum SportsNet, the Los Angeles Lakers center said that he was excited to be paired with the three-time Defensive Player of the Year but added that he still expects to start.

“I feel like [Dwight] is gonna fit great,” said McGee. “I feel like we have similar games, and the fact we can have a 1-2 punch right after each other, coming in after each other. I don’t think that’s gonna be real good for other teams at all … Two bigs that can defend the rim, run the floor, and dunk. So I’m excited.

“I started last year, so I mean, I wouldn’t expect anything less,” McGee added when asked about his expected role. “But it’s definitely not up to me, it’s up to the coach. But I don’t plan to show them anything other than I’m the starting center for the Lakers.”

Indeed, McGee, 31, started 62 games for the Lakers and put up averages of 12.0 points (a career-best), 7.5 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per game. The 33-year-old Howard, meanwhile, averaged 16.6 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game in his last healthy season with Charlotte in 2017-18.

While the Lakers will be implementing a brand-new system under head coach Frank Vogel, McGee’s high-energy play seems like the better fit in the starting lineup next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Howard also has a much shorter leash than McGee, so the latter has even more reason to feel confident.

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