JaVale McGee appears serious about raising his game

Nuggets center JaVale McGee was on his last-one-out grind. On Tuesday: free throws well after most everyone left the Pepsi Center practice court. On Thursday, post-practice offensive work, followed by full-court sprints with assistant coach Patrick Mutombo.

It is all by design.

No one does everything right in the first week of training camp, but McGee is going after it, from improving his skills on the low block to getting a better handle on his conditioning. The seriousness of his approach is in stark contrast to a year ago, when his sluggish training camp cost him a starting job — and ultimately significant playing time — just weeks after he signed a four-year, $44 million contract extension.

This McGee doesn’t resemble that McGee. And for Nuggets first-year coach Brian Shaw, who wants to play inside-out on offense, it’s a good sign. For an organization that desperately wants its faith, and investment, in McGee to be validated, it’s a good sign.

Reported by Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post