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Sbank
10-04-2008, 10:58 AM
NBA a new level for rookie
In J.J. Hickson’s opinion, he was the sleeper of the 2008 NBA draft.

He lasted until the Cavaliers’ No. 19 pick in the first round. Despite playing just one year at North Carolina State, many think he could barge his way into Coach Mike Brown’s rotation this season.

“My goal is to come in and work hard every day,” he said. “If I do get time, produce. When I’m out there, I’m a competitor.”

The 6-foot-9, 242-pounder proved to be one of the most talented big men at the Vegas Summer League.

He admits his play in Nevada was a big confidence boost.

“I think I showed a lot of people what I could do,” he said. “I think I was a sleeper in the draft.”

Other big men, including UCLA’s Kevin Love, Stanford’s Brock and Robin Lopez, Georgetown’s Roy Hibbert and Florida’s Marreese Speights received more publicity in the 2008 draft.

“I just wasn’t on the radar,” Hickson said.

Observers will have to wait a couple years before they can expertly judge the winners and losers of that draft.

Brown said he doesn’t delve into the draft as deeply as the front office. When Hickson came to Cleveland to work out for the Cavs before the draft, Brown got to know him.

“I took him to my house and my wife made him dinner,” Brown said. “That was it. I was sold. I didn’t know a lot about him before that.”

Hickson is lagging behind on the defensive side during the first week of training camp. That’s to be expected for a player who just turned 20 years old on Sept. 4.

“This is a new environment for him,” Brown said. “Darnell Jackson is a bit more mature. He’s played four years in college and won a championship.”

Brown isn’t ready to say Hickson will be in his rotation, but “his talent level allows that optimism to be there.”

The Cavs coach compared the situation to when Daniel “Boobie” Gibson arrived in 2006.

“He was the best shooter on the team,” Brown said. “He earned it.”

Brown said Hickson’s talent level is pretty high.

“I can’t teach a lot of the things he can do,” he said. “If he can do that within the frame work of what we’re trying to do as a team, he has a chance to be very good in this league for a long time.

“He’s probably our most athletic big. When you are as good of an athlete as he is at his size, he can do a lot of things when it comes to running, jumping and getting by guys off the dribble. He can play with his back to the basket. He can face up a little bit. He’s a decent shooter.”

Hickson, who prepped in Marietta, Ga., averaged 14.8 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.6 blocks as a freshman in college. He also led the Atlantic Coast Conference in field-goal percentage at 59.1.

He said he’ll bring a lot of energy to the Cavs. Hickson will likely play behind starters Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Ben Wallace and top reserve Anderson Varejao. There could be some minutes left over for the rookie.

“I run the floor well,” Hickson said. “I can get a crowd into the game and take (an opposing) crowd out of a game.

“I’m explosive enough to play around the rim. I’m not your average big man as far as height. But I can get the job done. I have a big heart.”

He said it was an eye-opening experience to witness Coach Brown’s attention to detail on the defensive end.

“It’s a hurdle I have to get over,” Hickson said. “It kind of caught me off guard. He’s a perfectionist. He wants everything perfect. When he wants something done, he wants it done the right way.”

The veterans wanted things done the right way on Thursday, too. Hickson was instructed to bring Krispy Kreme glazed donuts to practice.

“Whenever one of the vets asks, I have to go get it,” he said.

Quick shots

Brown said he doesn’t know if guard Michael Dickerson will be back in time for Saturday’s Wine & Gold Scrimmage at the University of Akron. He left camp on Wednesday to take care of a family issue.

Don’t disregard talk of the 6-3 Delonte West starting at shooting guard. Even though it might give the Cavs a small backcourt with him and 6-1 Mo Williams, it would give them superior quickness and speed. The Cavs feel West can defend most shooting guards.

All-Star LeBron James won’t be the only player shifting to power forward when the Cavs go small. Brown said both Wally Szczerbiak and Sasha Pavlovic could also play some at the “4” spot.

Brown is excited about Pavlovic’s conditioning. He missed all of training camp last year with a contract dispute.

news-herald (http://www.news-herald.com/articles/2008/10/03/sports/doc48e5ad1da20fa247726634.txt)
We see how J.J. Hickson develops during the year. I think Sasha, Wally and West will do well for us this year for SG.

23LBJCleBrowns
10-04-2008, 01:38 PM
I read in the Plain Dealer, they said that the Guys that we drafted were some of the toughest guys in the draft and should be very goood.

Cavs_Fan24
10-04-2008, 08:39 PM
Cant wait til the season starts so i can see them play.

Sbank
10-04-2008, 08:42 PM
Cant wait til the season starts so i can see them play.

I bet everyone wishes the season started already. It's about three weeks till the season starts.

edla423
10-06-2008, 09:11 PM
cant wait to see our championship bound team play.:smoking:

23LBJCleBrowns
10-07-2008, 03:47 PM
I am very excited to see LeBron win MVP!

IndiansFan337
10-07-2008, 11:29 PM
I went to the Wine & Gold scrimmage & I did seem to notice Pavlovic looking slimmer. I mentioned it to my girlfriend & she agreed. Now that I have read this article including Brown's comments, it confirms it.

Pavlovic looked good (physically), but he played the same. He had an air ball, missed two layups, but then made a few tough layups too. He probably isn't going to log much PT this year. He's going to be way behind Wally & Gibson on the depth chart. West wasn't at the scrimmage at all, so I'm not sure what the deal is with him. Kinsey looked pretty bad during the scrimmage too. He seemed very intimidated & he struggled mightily. He was one of the only players to not score a point (might have been THE only player not to score)