Byron Scott saw good focus and intensity out of J.J. Hickson for the second straight practice. That was enough to name Hickson the starter at forward this season.
Scott officially anointed Hickson his starting power forward on Sunday, meaning the Cavs will start Mo Williams, Anthony Parker, Jamario Moon, Hickson and Anderson Varejao in the season opener against Boston. It's a vastly different lineup than last season's opener against the Celtics, which featured LeBron James and Shaquille O'Neal. But Scott loves the depth on this team.
Antawn Jamison, Boobie Gibson, Ramon Sessions and Ryan Hollins comprise the core rotation. Scott is willing to go 10 deep if the talent warrants it. For now, any minutes for Jawad Williams, Joey Graham or Leon Powe will have to come out of a timeshare/revolving door for that 10th spot.
Scott ripped Hickson Thursday night for not knowing the offense. When the Cavs are running in the open court, Hickson's athleticism gets him by. But when it comes to knowing where he's supposed to stand and where he's supposed to move in the Princeton offense, he's still learning.
That's why Hickson stayed after practice Sunday. Assistant coach Chris Jent went step by step with Hickson where he should stand, where he should set screens and where he should roll in this offense. That's the type of effort and dedication Scott wants to see.
The Cavs believe Hickson can be a star in this league, but he has to be willing to put in the work -- both mentally and physically. He hasn't proven he's at that point yet.