His Chance to Shine

By Chris Fedor

JJ HIckson

When the Cavs drafted J.J. Hickson I was scratching my head. Not because I had never heard of him or because I didn’t think he was very good, but at the time they drafted Hickson, he wasn’t the kind of player that would help the Cavs right away. He was a developmental project that was a couple of years away from making an impact. Not to mention there were other players in that draft that were still available that were more NBA ready and looked like a better fit on a championship caliber team. Before LeBron left it was all about winning a championship.

In a rebuilding season and a season of transition, the goals are a little bit different. J.J. Hickson is getting his chance to shine and getting a bigger role in the offense. He’s taking advantage of it. Here we are three years after he was drafted out of North Carolina State and J.J. Hickson has emerged as the best player on the roster through four games. While I still have no clue what he’s going to give to the team on a nightly basis and he will still have his inconsistencies like he showed in Toronto or in the game against Sacramento where he didn’t show up in the second half after being aggressive in the first half, he has been the biggest positive that I have seen from the team through four games.

Last season he couldn’t hit a jumper if he was taking the ball off the ball rack. Last season, if he wasn’t dunking or getting a layup, he wasn’t scoring. This offseason Hickson worked very hard on his jumper with Cavs shooting coach Chris Jent and it has shown in the first four games. His offensive game has progressed, he has shown growth, and he is finally living up to his status of a first round pick.

Antawn Jamison looks hurt and unhappy. Mo Williams looks like he wants to be anywhere but Cleveland. Hickson’s defense still needs to improve and its unacceptable to get outrebounded by Daniel Gibson, but on a team that is starving for offensive firepower since LeBron James departed, J.J. Hickson has gotten his chance to shine and nobody wearing the wine and gold has been better. The true question is whether or not he can play this way for 82 games.

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