When JaVale McGee went down with an injury that will keep him out for around a month, the Denver Nuggets moved J.J. Hickson to the center position from the power forward in their starting lineup. To be honest, though, it hasn’t mattered where he’s slotted in the starting five this season or elsewhere in their rotation, Hickson hasn’t been good thus far in the 2013-14 NBA season.
On Saturday night against the Dallas Mavericks, Hickson was a detriment in an otherwise solid winning effort from Denver. Playing 29 minutes, Hickson finished the evening with just six points and five rebounds while shooting only 3-8 from the floor and not getting to the foul line a single time.
As he came to Denver, the Nuggets pretty much knew the rap on Hickson. He’s a sub-par defender that has a bit of value offensively and (sometimes) on the boards. However, the problem with Hickson in Denver thus far this year is that he hasn’t been great in really any aspect of the game.
Even before his paltry showing on Saturday night, Hickson has averaged just 9.6 points and 9.2 rebounds in 24.9 minutes per game. Though that may seem like decent production, it’s little bit of shine fades when you consider that he’s shooting only 44.1 percent from the floor to get to his nine points while also taking 9.3 shot attempts per game.
For a team like Denver that has had its share of offensive struggles early in this season, Hickson isn’t helping anything. He’s not been scoring effectively, not been consistent on the glass, and has continued to show his lack of value defensively. As their roster sits now with injuries, the Nuggets are basically forced to give him solid minutes. However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see his role diminish as the season goes on and the team gets healthier.