Some have suggested that Cavs coach Mike Brown should consider starting second-year man J.J. Hickson in tonight's Game 3 against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. That strategy would include going with a small lineup to try to run the aging Celtics early.
If that's in the plan, Hickson hasn't gotten any hint of it, or cleverly kept it under wraps.
''Naw. I didn't get any sense like that,'' Hickson said before Friday's shootaround. ''If I play 11 minutes or 19 minutes or no minutes, I'm going to do whatever it takes for us to win.
'' It's coach's decision. That's what he gets paid to do. Whatever he says, it's up to me to trust him. I've been trusting him the whole season, so why stop?''
In a 104-86 loss to Boston in Game 2 at Quicken Loans Arena, Hickson scored 10 of his 13 points in the second half, seven in the fourth quarter as the Cavs tried to rally from a 25-point deficit. But Hickson took no personal encouragement from what he might have shown the coaches in that stretch.
''Naw. It was more of a team effort,'' he said. ''We wanted to finish the game right, finish the game on a good note going into Game 3 and I think we did a good job of that.''
As for tonight, he said, ''We've got to come out with intensity from the get-go. We can't have defensive lapses and times where we're not focused.''