J.J. Hickson is about as complete of a ballplayer as the Portland Trail Blazers have had this season. He proved it again Sunday night when his team completed a four-game season series sweep over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Trail Blazers are 27-31 and don’t look like they’ll make the playoffs, but they can still bid for the .500 mark, which would be a victory of sorts.
Hickson had 18 points and 16 rebounds against Minnesota, which continues to prove how complete his game is in the NBA. He gave credit to his team for a complete performance. From the opening tip to the final buzzer, he and his teammates got the job done with perhaps a couple of exceptions.
The Trail Blazers were almost 50 percent in shooting accuracy from the floor. Hickson gets plenty of credit for that with 7-of-8 shooting. Of his 16 rebounds, 12 were on the defensive end. He also dished out three assists. It wasn’t a perfect night since Hickson had four turnovers. His ball handling is something the Portland coaches continually need to focus on with him.
For the season, he’s averaging 13.2 points and 10.5 rebounds a game. His numbers are up over his career figures of 9.7 points and 6.6 rebounds a game. Hickson has been improving his shooting percentage and is doing more and better things with the basket. He also has a strong night last Thursday against the Denver Nuggets with 18 points and 14 rebounds.
The Trail Blazers need Hickson to finish strong. If he does, so will the team.