Out-Tanked in P-Town & Hickson

Posted: April 5, 2012 in Blazers, Hoops
Tags: ,

Hickson treats Jordan Williams like a 3rd grader in a HS Varsity Game (Note: it’s not Kris Humpries, even though both Mike Barrett and the video identify the player as Humphries.  S/O to Ben Yew for the correction)

While the Blazers (player and coaches at least) have made no overt efforts to tank since the trade deadline (despite our site’s pleading), the benching of D-Will last night at least on the surface appeared to be a tanking power move, considering the Nets have been on a roll lately, and the Blazers had every reason to lose that game (would’ve helped ensure they maintained two top draft choices in this year’s lottery).  Needless to say the Blazers cruised last night, with Aldridge, Batum, and Hickson all dominating the Nets buttery soft front court.

For Cavs fans, and certainly for Sacto fans, it must be somewhat hilarious and slightly infuriating  to watch JJ Hickson continue to play out of his mind in Portland.  Portland has to be sure in evaluating the long-term value of Hickson to note that he has every reason to play for his own future right now, and is probably more motivated than he’s been at any point in his career to produce, not for his team, but for himself.  While his career shattering PER of 22.9 through his first 8 games is reason enough for Portland fans & brass to be justifiably excited about the addition of Hickson (especially considering it was a waiver claim), he still has a career low 13.6% total rebound percentage during his stretch in Portland.

The good news is that with last night’s boxscore he boosted his steal percentage with the blazers up to a career high (clear example of small sample size rearing its head), and his block percentage to his best since his rookie year.  There is no reason other than effort on the defensive end and the glass, that Hickson shouldn’t be able to average 10, 1.2 steals, and 1.5 blocks per 36 minutes, but he hasn’t shown that ability as of yet in his career, which still suggests he’s focusing most of his energy on the offensive end of the court.  He is also shooting an asinine 53.6% from the free throw line for the Blazers (a number that will undoubtedly go up as he shoots more FT’s, but keep in mind that he is just a 67% free throw shooter for his career), which also suggests lack of focus on the finer points of the game.  However, when a guy is shooting a blistering 61.4% from the field on almost 14 shots a game, and turning the ball over a career low 1.6 times per 36 minutes, since joining the blazers, it is worth noting that Hickson is playing some of the most efficient offensive basketball in the league since joining the blazers.  There is no doubt that if he can continue to show this promise through the final games of the season that re-signing him becomes a no brainer, even if (assuming he actually is a coach’s nightmare) it’s just to keep his value as a trade commodity.

Last night, although it must be emphasized it was against the lowly Nets without their star PG, Hickson lead the team in rebound percentage (unless you count Thabeet’s 1 board in 1:58 of PT) and had a game high 26.4% defensive rebound percentage and had 3 big blocks.  If he can continue to focus effort on the defensive end of the court and capitalize on his offensive opportunities within the flow of the game, he could be a scary good addition to this roster.

After the game Hickson said the right things in his interview, which you can find on Oregon Live, talking about the importance of playing defense and rebounding – clearly the elements of his game that will be most important to his continued success.

Hickson shows Gerald Wallace why he’s replaced Crash as the object of Rose Garden’s affection.

Hickson videos both courtesy of www.blazersvideos.com

Comments
  1. Ben Yew says:

    that’s not kris humphries. humph is #43. the stupid blazers announcer just called him humphries when it was actually jordan.

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