Cleveland’s PF J.J. Hickson looks deathly sick really. Matter fact, the 7.1 points he averaged over the last eight games and one lonely double-digit rebound game he had in that span is enough for me to officially call his time of death: November 30. 25 minutes, 0-for-4 shooting. During the preseason, it appeared as if even with Hickson’s seemingly limited skill set, the loss of LeBron would open the floodgates for every Cav with at least a modicum of offensive talent. But this season? Hickson’s offensive talents seem to have skipped town right alongside ol’ no. 23. His PER is over 1.5 points lower than last season. His ORtg is lower, his DRtg is higher and when he’s on the floor he’s involved in over a quarter of the plays. In short, dude’s confused and freaking out. His mind is exploding and it has appropriately fragmented his stats. The problem here is that Cleveland can fall back on Antawn Jamison instead of working on Hickson. Even if the franchise cared to focus on Hickson’s improvement, the staff has never shown that it has such a capacity. Ilgauskas, Shaq, Ben Wallace, Jamison. This team doesn’t want projects, they want proven producers. And if they don’t produce, they’re gone. If Hickson improves this season, it’ll be after Cleveland tells J.J. to hit the bricks, son.
Here’s what else happened around the league in fantasy basketball:
Anderson Varejao – 16/12/3 in only his third dub-dub of the season. Varejao has improved neither his scoring nor his shooting efficiency this season. Either it will come, or the Cavs just won’t be a very good basketball team. Or both.
Marquis Daniels – Shot 70 percent from the floor on his way to 16 points. He had to do that or else payroll would forget he still played for the Celtics.
Stephen Jackson – Suspended from Wednesday’s game for mouthin’ off, or as Jackson refers to it, “talking.”
Andre Iguodala – Played 42 minutes and only shot the ball four times, which is remarkable when you consider the alternative scoring options on his team. He doesn’t want us calling him Iggy. Cool. I’ll call him Icky.
Evan Turner – Seems to be sucking lately. /checks last few Sixers box scores, nods in the affirmative, fixes bowl of Coco Pebbles, watches last night’s episode of “The Colbert Report,” feels like there was something he forgot to do, remembers what he was doing, returns to the computer\ Yeah. Evan Turner is sucking lately. He’s averaging 4.3/2/2.2 in his last six games.
Brandon Roy – 10/2/0 in 33 minutes. You were worried about him when you thought he might miss months with his recent spate of injuries. Well, he didn’t miss much time, but you should probably be more worried about him now than back then.
Wesley Matthews – 19.3/4.1 along with 2.4 threes in his last seven games. Roy’s down, Batum’s down and Matthews is a sniper from downtown. That’s what Wesley does. Wesley snipes.
Vince Carter – 13/4/1 with a pair of steals in his return from an extended Thanksgiving holiday. I’m unconVINCEd he cares anymore than I do.
Jordan Farmar – Devin Harris left the game with a knee injury. If you can afford to speculate, feast! Feast, you jackals!
Troy Murphy – 0/5/2 in 17 minutes. He’s rusty, he’s uncomfortable, he’s still injured. Whatever. There’s something we aren’t being told about Troy Murphy. I’m suspicious of Kris Humphries. Murphy Brown knocked knees with Harris last night and took Murphy’s job for much of this season, I might suggest Lo-Jacking dude’s gym bag just in case he decides to mysteriously skip town in the near future.
Amar’e Stoudemire – 35/9 on the same night that Wilson Chandler went 27/11 and Raymond Felton went 21/7. I was told this couldn’t happen; that it was akin to crossing the streams. Total plutonic reversal.
Solomon Jones – He’s averaging 10.5/5.5 in about 15 mpg in the last two games. If he does it again tonight, jump on it, all ye deep leaguers.
Carl Landry – Beno Udrih was removed from the starting lineup. Boom! 24 points last night. DeMarcus Cousins was removed from practice. Boom! 20 points last night. Carl Landry sent to a backup role. Boom! Eight points. Uh … oh. C’mon Carl. You’re like the last guy in Flip Cup who just watched everyone sip in flip in under 10 seconds and your cup fell underneath the table and forced you to dip your knees in beer-slicked tile to retrieve it.
Tony Parker – Frozen Tony continues his decent back to Earth (10-for-31 from the floor, .323 in the last three). If you’re into selling, do what it do.
Andris Biedrins – In the last four games, Biedrins has grabbed 61 boards. Neat. Just 400 more rebounds and we’ll be square from last season.
David Lee – 10/6/4 in his first game back on Saturday. 18/7/5 last night. Next game I’m predicting 26/8/6. I figured that out mathematicLee!
Pau Gasol – Never scored fewer than 16 points through his first 14 games, has failed to reach 16 points in three of his last four. No, I don’t think you should “see what you can get” for him. I was just making smalltalk, discussing a trade would be crazytalk.
Mike Conley – Derek Fisher‘s old-ass bones had no answer for the Memphis PG who sank four treys on his way to the second-highest single-game point total of his career (28). Call him “The Long Con(ley)”
Rudy Gay – A mediocre night, but he did block a shocking six shots (the last of which may have won the game for the Grizz). The blocks, much like my estranged father, are great when they’re there, but don’t count on seeing ’em often.