OAKLAND — For the past week or so, Steve Kerr has been toying with the idea of giving reserve center JaVale McGee a more prominent role.
Against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night, the Golden State Warriors head coach tested the idea and McGee responded with 10 points, three rebounds and a pair of blocks in 15 minutes of play.
“He earned some extra playing time for sure,” Kerr said after the team’s practice on Saturday. “We’re still going through different combinations and that kind of thing. He earned the opportunity to play some more.”
Kerr had hesitated to use McGee extensively in the opening weeks of the season because he wanted to give veteran big men Zaza Pachulia and David West a shot to settle in with their new team.
Now, Kerr plans to use a system of “center by committee” with the given opponent going a long way toward dictating playing time for the respective big men.
“I think it’s fairly obvious that all three will play big roles for us,” Kerr said.
The head coach liked the athleticism that McGee flashed against the Nuggets, pointing out that his ability to catch lobs at the rim put pressure on the defense and opened up space for 3-point assassins like Stephen Curry.
“He ran the floor really, really hard,” Kerr said.
“I think just the pace with which he played was good for us.”