Friday, February 27, 2009

Let the JJ Hickson Era Begin

I like Ben Wallace. I would trade him for Larry Hughes 100 times out of 100 and not think twice about it. However, this Ben Wallace - when healthy - is a mere shadow of the Defensive Player of the Year that used to play in Detroit. I am not trying to throw dirt on a guy that is down, but I am trying to say that losing Ben Wallace does not spell the end of championship aspirations.

It does two things really, that could both work out fine. First, it begins the JJ Hickson era right now. I have no problem with that. The youngster looks real solid to me, real solid. What exactly can't Hickson do that Wallace can anyways? Are you going to say that you don't think JJ is able to guard low post scorers? Neither can Wallace anymore, so that's at worst, a push. On the offensive end, it is not even a debate. The upside of Hickson is huge, and Ben is an offensive liability at best. A statistical breakdown is below:

JJ Hickson: 12 mpg - 4.4 ppg - 2.9 rpg - 0.53 bpg

For the sake of argument, double Hicksons mpg to match Wallace's. Then, averaging the same mpg, Hickson would project to average 8.8 ppg - 5.8 rpg - and 1.06 bpg. There is no drop off there, and if Hickson could get you around 10 and 6, and average a block a game, playing half of it, that's an upgrade. What was Marcus Camby gonna get you? Nothing more than that.The second thing the Wallace injury does is more of the challenge. That being, filling the 12 mpg that Hickson averages currently. Lorenzen Wright or Darnell Jackson are going to have to step up and give you that. Or, if not, Z and Anderson are going to have to give you another five or six minutes each. If not that, the Cavaliers other option is to play a combination of those things, and small for those 12 minutes.Whatever happens, while I look forward to Ben coming back, I think the Cavaliers are deep enough to find 3 points and 6 boards a game somewhere on their roster.

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