Cavs 83, Bucks 77
The Cavs' quiet, serene training camp was shaken AND stirred tonight when Byron Scott unloaded on J.J. Hickson for not knowing the Princeton offense. Hickson had five turnovers, made a number of sloppy passes and was often out of position on offense.
Scott, who has passively tried motivating Hickson throughout training camp, had finally seen enough. He benched him for the entire fourth quarter, then hammered him after the game.
"He's one we're counting on to play a major role in what we're doing. Right now, from an offensive standpoint, he's not understanding what we're trying to do. That's disappointing, especially as much as we go through it every day."
Scott is starting to see some of the same frustrations Mike Brown had with Hickson last sesaon. Brown quickly lost patience with Hickson and would yank him immediately after defensive mistakes. Scott said last week that Hickson needed to stay focused on defense and do what was expected of him. If he did that, he would be the starting power forward. If he didn't, Jamison would start.
Now Scott added tonight that Hickson doesn't know the offense, either, and admits he has a long ways to go on both sides of the ball. And the opener is less than a week away.
"I'm not very confident that he'll have it down pat," Scott said. "But it won't be because of a lack of effort on our end."
Scott is giving the players Friday off. It will allow him time to decide what he wants to do at the 4, because he is expected to meet with Jamison in the next couple of days to inform him of his decision. Jamison wants to start, but is enough of a pro that he won't complain if he is pushed into a backup role.
Hickson insists that he does know the offense, but admitted he sometimes has mental lapses.
"You can't go by one game. I think I've been pretty good in the preseason," Hickson said. "If I start, I start. If I don't, it is what it is.''