After assaulting J.J. Hickson in the last post-game wrapup, it's only fair to praise him for his efforts tonight. In two games when injuries really left the Cavs needing a big night from Hickson (New Year's Day at Chicago and Friday at Golden State), Hickson delivered.
He still could stand to spend more time in the paint and he's still taking too many outside jumpers -- he shot just 5 of 13 from the floor. But he also displayed a rare hunger to really go after rebounds and hold onto them. He grabbed nine and would've had 10 if not for Christian Eyenga ripping one way when both players went up for it in the fourth quarter.
Fans and writers have been burned too many times previously this season by thinking "now the light finally went on for J.J." I'm not going to be fooled into that again. But ever since his sitdown with Byron Scott more than a week ago, Hickson has said all the right things and his effort has been better when he's been on the floor. Now he just needs to show up to all the practices to stay on the court.
When the Cavs go to a lineup featuring Ramon Sessions, Manny Harris, Christian Eyenga and Hickson, the athleticism is obvious. Now the Cavs just have to figure out which of those guys can actually PLAY. Hickson needs to put it all together. Friday night was another good step.
Antawn Jamison 21 points
Manny Harris 16 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, three steals
J.J. Hickson 17 points, nine rebounds
Mo Williams 16 points, seven assists
Monta Ellis 32 points, 10 assists
David Lee 22 points, 14 rebounds
Dorell Wright 20 points, six rebounds
The Cavs whittled a 21-point deficit down to 91-81 on a Ramon Sessions layup with 10:32 left, but they managed just one basket over the last 3 1/2 minutes and couldn't really throw a scare into the Warriors.
The Warriors managed to shoot a better percentage on 3-pointers (9 of 18, 50 percent) than they did overall from the field (41 of 85, 48.2 percent).
They said it
"Some of our careless mistakes are killing us and some of our inexperience and youth are hurting us, just like at times it’s helping us." -- Byron Scott
The Cavs (8-28) are at Phoenix at 8 p.m. on Sunday