Mar 27

Fitting Into The Offense Is A Breeze For Newest Trail Blazer J.J. Hickson

By sarahhecht
The newest addition to the Portland roster, J.J. Hickson, made a splash on Tuesday night in the Rose Garden as he led not only the bench in scoring, but the whole team.

Hickson suited up for just his fourth game as a Trail Blazer and put up double digit points for the second time.When you consider that he's only played in three of those his feat becomes even more impressive. Tonight he racked up 21 points on 9-of-ten shooting while nabbing 4 boards and three steals in Portland’s 109-95 loss the the Oklahoma City Thunder.

His presence off the bench paired with new point guard Jonny Flynn proved to be a positive combination. Flynn, who scored 10 points and dished five assists, sang Hickson’s praises post-game and even credited their ally-oop connection as the moment he really started to feel comfortable on the court.

“He’s a guy that’s gonna set the screen and he’s gonna roll hard. As a point guard those are two things you want. Somebody that’s gonna stop somebody, hit somebody on the screen and who is gonna dive to the basket,” Flynn said of Hickson’s style of play. “J.J. is a guy that can get it in that mid-range area and kinda make a move. You see a lot of guys in this league, you have to spoon-feed ‘em. A guy like J.J, you give it to him, ya hop-step between the legs and he’s so agile as a big man he really makes point guards look good.”

Commanding the post while in the game, Hickson’s contributions can be measured in more than buckets and rebounds. He infused energy into a second unit that was stagnant at times behind leader Jamal Crawford. Hickson places his infectious energy at the top of the list of positives he brings to the court.
“Energy, getting into the paint, getting dunks, rebounding. I haven’t been rebounding good but I think once I get my legs back under me you’ll start to see those ten-plus rebound games,” Hickson said. “I feel real comfortable here. On the court I feel comfortable with the sets we’re running and I feel I’m getting a little bit better with the defensive schemes that we’re going through.”

In the three games Hickson has had to adjust to his new home hes shot 65 percent from the field tallying a total of 39 points. Despite facing the the challenges of acclimating to a new city, and new team and a new system his success demonstrates his commitment to compete.

Even after a stand-out individual performance the first words out of his mouth were about the team.

“It felt great to get out there, get up and down a little bit, but it would have felt a lot better if we woulda got the W.”


  1. Great Post Miss Sarah:
    JJ, takes some of the pain out of losing GW. same style same energy and hustle. Not knowing about trades and what have you, in my book he is a keeper and I am sure Portland will at least give him a QO.
    It has been said that he would be great along side of LMA; since I only got glimpses of the game last night, do you feel since LMA is taller that he could play the other PF spot LOL, and let JJ play the original PF spot or do you think JJ could play the other PF spot, until we break the injured Center spell?
    It looks like Flynn can give us at least a good PGofTF. Whether that be as a starter or back up. At the time being as a PG, Nolan isn't up to par, he may develop the skills to set up the offense, but it seems that Flynn is a step ahead of him with more experience. A shooting guard is more his style but is a little short. Any way, I don't know the long term on Nolan, but then he hasn't had much time to play.
    Sarah, I get confused when looking at next year as to what we need, and who is role players. Chad says we are going after an elite back court player, in either a PG or 2gd. If Flynn can be a impact player, would he be qualified as an elite PGofTF? I guess what I am asking is who on our roster as of now is keepers as role players? Joel should not be our Starting Center, Thabeet is not ready and Thomas is ready for SS, Do we go after a big center, or use JJ as the center? or do we keep JJ as a back up PF, and keep Joel as the back up Center?

    I'm looking at an elite center in the draft and Joel as back up, we was in need of a back up PF to give LMA a break and also a banger, but I think we already have that in JJ. We have Batum and Babbitt as SF, an elite PG and maybe Flynn as back up PG, and Matthews as 2gd and Nolan as back up 2gd.

    I know I am getting to far ahead of myself, but I am excited about Flynn and JJ for next year. Heck, even the remainder of this year.

    by Hg on 3/28/2012 5:19 AM
  2. I would like to see Hickson sign a qualifying offer. At least that way the Blazers could evaluate him over a full year. I just hope this isn't a case of a guy playing hard to get paid and then becoming lazy.

    by cmeese47 on 3/28/2012 12:05 PM
  3. cmeese47: I had mentioned giving JJ a QO on an other blog, At least a QO, would be just for one year and we could see if he is lazy or not.

    by Hg on 3/28/2012 12:54 PM
  4. Miss Sarah: I caught the last little bit of the show this morning, I love what you are saying about positive attitude. I have used your philosophy for years, I have said at this moment you can like what you have or dislike what you have, but until there is time to change it, what you have now is all there is. I have said that in the development of LaMarcus and wow, look at him now.
    You answered many of my questions on your show, so I guess many fans has the same questions. I want to add to Adams comment about Thabeet. Chad said that they had an eye on him and Flynn in the draft, and they thought since thabeet never started playing BB until late that he would be a project player, much like Outlaw, and Batum was. He said so many teams in the NBA and many fans in the NBA wants results right now, and if they don't get results they put them at the bottom of the bench, they don't take special time to work with them, therefore they get no better. With Thalbeet you need to work him everyday, keep him interested in his work and use him when he progresses. In the mean time he is not expensive and we can always use the bigs. Long short, I like that attitude, because everybody doesn't grow and learn at the same speed, and some learn faster in different atmospheres. That is why I am not a stats man. I don't know what he can bring, but you can't judge him for what he has been sitting at the end of the bench. I think if somebody had taken time with Eaten at utah, and minute bools (well maybe) or even our own dudly do little. they could have been lots more. So as a fourth string center why not keep him.
    BTW, I am just about as excited as you in seeing Flynn and JJ come out aggressive. that should be contagious. We still need to keep Nolan in the mixed of things until we can find out. He may be another JBay. to short to play 2gd and not the ability to be an elite PG. but with his bb smarts I do think he can be a role player in the rotation.

    by Hg on 3/28/2012 12:53 PM
  5. cmeece47 JJ Hickson played very well in clevland avrage i think around 13-15 points a game and that was playing behind Labron James and we know LJ had the ball most of the time. So i do not think this is a case of him trying hard just for a contract I think he is just a hustle guy.

    HG When you were listing off guys we will have next year i think you forgot about Elliot Williams i do think this guy will be a difference maker given the time on the court. So i do not see Nolan getting many minutes at SG once he is back and healthy. I think LA and Hickson should play alot of minutes together i think it could cause some match up problems for other teams. But for now i would keep him coming off the bench as well because we need bench scoring more than ay thing. As for Flynn this guy will end up taking nolan smiths minutes if he keeps playing like he did. He is a true point guard who is looking to make his team mates better. I have hope for the future.

    by Avgjoe28 on 3/28/2012 11:34 PM
  6. Avgjoe28: You are right I did forget E Williams, My bad. I remembered him later, my mind was going millions of miles an hour.
    If Flynn can be the PGofTF, If E Williams the 2Gd of the future then do we need to draft or pick up either? Or do we keep them in mind as a project and go after a All Star PG? and use Flynn as the back-up PG. Since Wesley is better as a starter, do we keep Williams as coming off the bench, much like Crawford is doing now? Do we use Nolan as a 3rd string PG and 3rd String 2gd until he develops?

    I have to many questions and no answers yet, so that is why I forget who we have, who we need and who is going, who is staying, who is role players, who is impact players and the list goes on.
    MY take is
    1. All Star PG and Flynn
    2. Wesley and Elliot
    3. Batum and Babbitt
    4. LaMarcus and JJ
    5. New Center, and Joel
    With whomever as fillers

    by Hg on 3/29/2012 4:40 AM
  7. well if we get the fourth or fifth pick we will probably able to land drummond so he could be our starting center otherwise we could get probably get zeller with our own pick. and i am not sure whether we won't see felton and flynn as our point guards next year. if felton continues to play like he has the last games and even get's a little better he could average 15-20 points and 8 or 9 assists which would be a pretty awesome line.
    considering nolan i think we can only hope he is going to develope into a scoring point guard because he doesn't look like a true point guard on the floor

    by lrac on 3/29/2012 5:45 AM
  8. btw i don't think we will be able to land an all star point guard since williams ist staying with the nets or going to dallas and there is no other all star pg available

    by lrac on 3/29/2012 5:47 AM
  9. lrac: The Blazers still need to sell tickets and the damage Felton has done by not staying in halfway descent shape and all the anger and hatred pointed at him for being the key to getting Nate fired would lose many ticket holders. Therefore, I don't see Felton coming back. I do think Flynn will come back.

    Chad said they were going after an elite player preferably a backcourt player to go along with LaMarcus.
    He also said they would probably bring over Freeland to help with the bigs;

    I agree that Daran Williams is the only Free agent, and I doubt we could land him, especially if we get Salon as a coach LOL. But we have lots of assets and we could conceivably go after a guard in trade. DJ Augustine was said to be on Portland's radar.
    There are so many players we don’t know about yet to make any predictions in the draft, and I am not that familiar with draft picks We have Elliot Williams, JJ Hickson, Jonny Flynn, we signed an extension to Babbitt will he be used as a trade chip or to back up Batum. Will we bring over Diabler for outside shooting that we desperately need? Just to many unknown’s for my mind.

    by Hg on 3/29/2012 8:43 AM
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