So, I don't know about the rest of you, but in watching the first few games of the season, I often found myself just a LITTLE disappointed to keep seeing McGary getting the ball under the hoop with room and delivering the layup instead of playing the Mighty Zeuz and throwing down the thunder.
Unfortunately, up till last night, we saw him go up maybe once per game, at most, and sometimes pretty weakly. I found myself wondering if this was the same guy who shattered backboards in high school. I mean, he definitely was skilled. No question about that. He belonged on the floor. But where was the force? The dominance?
Last night, Mitch McGary went up strong, really strong, several times. It was at least a good portion of that display of power I've been waiting for, and I'm sure may of you have as well. But that wasn't all he did. He wasn't the big guy waiting under the basket to throw down dunks. He was more. Trying to distribute (and turning it over, but at least trying) fighting for rebounds and loose balls, and making a more substantial contribution than just taking it to the rack.
I'm no basketball player (because I suck), but I've got to imagine that for those that can dunk, it's an energy intensive process. A layup is easier, simpler, and allows you in better position to rebound or get back down court in case something goes wrong. It occurs to me that McGary doesn't play soft sometimes out of necessity, but out of skill and maturity. The guy playing above the rim isn't gonna have as much time or energy to also play down low on the hardwood. I've got to imagine that most freshmen with his power and drive are hard to corral and coach to play the smart game. To me, it looks like McGary is already there. All the same, it's nice to know that, as last night showed, when the need or opportunity arises to simply be a 6-10 ball of badass power, he's still got that in the tank.
What do you think? Do you like to see a monster who is skilled enough and happy enough to dial it back and play the smart game whenever that makes sense? Or do you just find yourself dying for McGary to pull a Blake Griffin every time you see him step on the court?