For the first time in years, the Lakers might have an MVP on their hands.

They might also have a Defensive Player of The Year candidate as well, if we are to believe the words of LeBron James.

(via Harrison Faigen)

“We have a Defensive Player of the Year candidate in JaVale.”

It seems like a joke at first, but the numbers may actually back up the claim. According to NBA, the Lakers are at their best defensively than when JaVale McGee is on the floor, only allowing 101.2 points per 100 possessions during his minutes. If distributed over the entire season so far, that would rank the team behind only the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics.

The Lakers are looking at a 3-5 record, and are sitting at 12th in the West. Clearly, they’ve got some improvements to make.

Yet still, they’re looking better on both ends of the floor than they have in a long time. Yes, some of that is LeBron, but the stats show that McGee has a hand in that as well.

He’s a major contributing factor, and for a guy who was the star of “Shaqtin’ a Fool” a while back, that’s not half bad.

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