Last year

Jameel McKay appreciation thread

With all the changes in the league this year, it has been easy to forget that Perth are the reigning champs, and still have a very solid core.
Damo was the GF MVP, and he and most of the team have been together for a while. Even though Prather was new last season, he settled in and became their MVP.
Clearly, if Perth landed two new high quality imports, they were going to be awesome.

With all the furore over the JJ soap-opera, and the excitement over Cotton, it has been easy to overlook the steady improvement of Jameel McKay.
I have always been hopeful that he would continue to improve, but at one-point I worried that he (rather than JJ) might need to be sacrifice to bring in another import. Fortunately that worry is now behind us.

McKay is unlike what we usually see as an Centre in the NBL. He's not excessively tall, and not especially heavy, but OMG his leap, and wingspan.
Reading a bit of his history, as a College junior, he was named Big 12 defensive player of the year. Should have known then he would find his way to the Wildcats.

Against Sydney he scored a high of 19 points, and against Brissy pulled in an amazing 13 boards. He leads the league in blocked shots, and its not just the shots he gets his hands on. So often he forces the opposition to change their shot, or to give up and try to dish.

After watching Knight and Jawai rumble up the floor last season, its great to have a big guy who can actually run and score in transition. And I think the more he plays with Cotton (and Damo back) the more scoring we'll see.

I think importantly, McKay seems to have reached a tipping point. In some early games, he was a liability against big centres, because he was getting out-muscled. In these past few games, he has caused those guys to be liabilities because they can't match his pace and athleticism.

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Last year

It's better that you figure these things out late than never Dazz ;-).

He had a good start to the season, a down bit in the middle with the rest of the team, but seems to be coming back to life now.

He's a nice offset for Knight in that they're both 4-5s so they can work whichever match-up suits them best. He'll be better for having Martin and Cotton in the line-up creating for him too.

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Last year

Perfect role player. Every team has to have the garbage collector and he is one of the best.
Athleticism, height and good hands you can't go past. i like his ability to put it on the floor, not in back down mode but face up.
If Cotton starts getting hungry offensively MacKay will become even more prominent.
He seems to be the refs whipping boy though. Call him every time and give him nothing e.g. Jervis muggings.

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Last year

The only person that didn't really appreciate McKay was Dazz tho.

Dazz has been bagging McKay since the start of the season. It's good that you've admitted that you were wrong tho Dazz.

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Air Delay  
Last year

I'm not a Perth fan, but I love seeing him & Martin on the court together. Those 2 combined almost out effort and out hustle a few other teams' 5 players on the court!


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Bill on the ball  
Last year

With McKay, Cotton and Prather, a lot of punters will earn a few dollars more.

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Last year

Im very happy with the way hes progressed this season. Hes been getting better and better and as paul commented, is the perfect type of player to have along side matty knight. His hustle on the boards was insane against the bullets! He copped a couple of wacks to the face going to the rim and still no love from the refs. Loved his persevrence

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Last year

I just wish he'd go straight back up when he grabs the offensive boards. He has the advantage of speed and a quick bounce. When he takes a dribble first, he gives the defender a chance to challenge his shot (or whack him across the face, a la Jervis).

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Last year

I really hope Perth retain him next season. His energy and passion is great to watch and he is only going to get better - he reminds me a bit of Charles Jackson for the Breakers last year. I don't know if I'm imagining it but he looks like he has put a bit of muscle on since he has been here.

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Last year

+1 hope we retain him for next season.

Horrible twitter game, but great player!

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Last year

I think perhaps part of what we have also seen, is Brandt gaining in confidence and being used more effectively. That gives them another big body to go banging when needed.

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Last year

Lol made me check his twitter. Maybe the refs would like him more if he didn't retweet every post about him being butchered by the refs.

Reply #617822 | Report this post

Last year

"I think perhaps part of what we have also seen, is Brandt gaining in confidence and being used more effectively. That gives them another big body to go banging when needed."

Dazz, don't just hide this gem of a post in an already existing thread. Start a new one!

Reply #617826 | Report this post

Last year

I like McKay too, though I think Perth are a little vulnerable in the 4/5 positions. McKay is great at making second opportunities, but not a go to first option. Brandt is also still developing. Without Knight, I don't think Perth are particularly threatening in the low post.

Has McKay generally been hard done by from the refs? I think there were two fairly obvious bad calls in the Brisbane game. Are there more? He has been called for a few travels, but from the footage I couldn't see if they were legit. I don't think he is a great ball handler in general.

I do love McKay's work rate, enthusiasm, and speed.

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Last year

Sorry but how is knight more effective than the other two in the post, people keep remembering knight as the player from the past and the first couple of games this season. He has been rubbish overall this season.

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Last year

Knight 15-17 foot set shot automatic as per the game clincher against Brisbane. Slow roll to hoop he is OK as well (he worked that with Cotton in Q4) but not really a lo post option, really a cross court passer out of there. He is not going to overpower anyone but he is good the 10-12 points, 6-7 defensive rebounds 3-4 fouls.
Another good role player for Perth. Along with Wagstaff, Brandt, Hire and Kenny. Just a well balanced team, that D's it up against whoever they are playing.

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Last year

McKay gets pinged for a few travels, that's just a matter of adjusting to FIBA rules, the NBL, and our refs. He'll get there.

Like I do for most players, I hope he sticks around.
I think that as long as Perth have a big banger like Knight, McKay can co-exist nicely. Hopefully Brandt will continue to improve, and take up the minutes as Knight heads towards retirement.

Reply #617870 | Report this post

Last year

lol dazz spends all season impatiently trashing mckay and then has the nerve to start an appreciation thread. too funny!

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Last year

Easily best shot blocker in the league. Plus he alters a ton of shots.

Reply #617905 | Report this post

Last year

lol dazz spends all season impatiently trashing mckay and then has the nerve to start an appreciation thread. too funny!

When and Where have I ever "trashed" McKay???

At the very outset, I said something to the effect of "regardless of what labels you put on Knight and McKay, we know who will be doing the hard banging." Well guess what Sherlock.
I said he would not be able to hold his own against some of the big bodies, and, well, he can't.

Since then I have consistently said that he needed to step up, but that he was steadily was improving and I hoped he kept it up. He has, and I am applauding him for that.

What its seems some morons still can't get their heads around, is that if a team wants to make big changes mid-season (unless a Motum suddenly gets cut from Europe) the only way to do it is to change out an import. Well gee wizz, guess what the Cats just went and did. (Along with MU, Sydney, NZ, & Brissy.)
As I mentioned in my OP, if the Cats stcuk by their "committment" to JJ, then the only other import to consider was McKay. (Although even when discussing that earlier, I couldn't see how it would work, as it would have been "robbing Peter to pay Paul."

End of the day, McKay has stepped up, and I am applauding him for it.

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