ORLANDO — Dwight Howard didn’t find himself on the court at the same time as Wizards rookie JaVale McGee very often during last night’s 106-81 Orlando thrashing of Washington, but the two-time All-Star center likes what he sees.
Wizards coach Eddie Jordan for the majority of the game charged Etan Thomas and Andray Blatche with trying — in vain — to slow Howard, who finished with 31 points on 11-for-13 shooting, 16 rebounds and three blocks. He instead would send McGee into the game whenever Howard was on the bench. But in the fourth quarter, McGee got two short chance to measure himself against Howard, to whom Chris Paul back in the preseason compared McGee because of his athleticism.
After the game, Howard was impressed with McGee who in 17 minutes recorded nine points and six rebounds and even evoked OOOOHS, and AAAAAWS from the Orlando crowd with a pair of his vicious alley-oop dunks.
“Y’all see JaVale McGee?” Howard asked a group of reporters while chatting informally while finishing getting dressed in front of his locker room. “That dude’s got a SEVEN-SIX wingspan!”
“Didn’t help him much tonight, huh?” a member of the Orlando media replied.
“Oh, no, he’s nice!” Howard said. “He’s doing alright, he’s a rook, man. It takes a while in this league for big men. But I think he’s gonna be nice!”
The 7-foot, 237-pound McGee is averaging 7.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and a block in 17.3 minutes a game.