The Denver Nuggets acquired big man J.J. Hickson this summer in free agency and he figures to be a key part of their bench in the upcoming 2013-2014 NBA season, for better or worse. Though Hickson had his best season as a pro last year with the Portland Trail Blazers, there are a lot of people, me being one of them, that aren’t high on his overall game.
In 80 games, all of them starts, with Portland last season, Hickson was basically a double-double factory. In 29 minutes per game, he averaged 12.7 points, 10.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game while shooting a career-high 56.2 percent from the floor. Despite his numbers, though, no one was left really impressed by his offensive ability and his defense was well below averaged, to put it as kindly as possible.
With Operation Sports releasing the player ratings and some of the skill grades for the game NBA 2K14, it seems to me like they actually graded Hickson’s skills pretty accurately in the game, making him one of the few that they got right.
Hickson’s interior offense is graded at a C+, which feels right as he’s only a slightly above-average player offensively in the post. Obviously his outside offense being an F makes sense as a big man. Hickson interior defense is rated at a C+, which might be a bit high, but is also based on him being a big man relative to the entire NBA. His rebounding his rated well at an A, which also seems pretty accurate.
However, the issue that arises with his rating is that it doesn’t seem to match his grades. Hickson is rated as a 77 on the game, one point higher than Danilo Gallinari on the Nuggets. That doesn’t make sense to me. None of his skill grades warrant that high of a rating and he definitely doesn’t warrant being rated higher than Gallo. There are many ratings that don’t make sense and Hickson’s is certainly in that category.
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