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Early Individual Numbers

 eFG% ORtg %Poss TO% DRtg
Hickson 72.9 113.3 30.5 24.4 91.4
Costner 40.6 91.7 25.3 26.0 96.8
Grant 48.9 97.1 22.6 23.7 96.3
Fells 48.9 98.6 15.4 18.4 99.3
Degand 62.9 108.8 15.2 19.6 99.6
McCauley 37.0 90.1 15.7 17.8 100.6
Horner 43.3 91.6 15.0 19.9 98.3
In many cases, when there's a player with a usage around 30%, it's indicative of a good player playing on a team without much of a supporting cast--Bo McCalebb, for instance. But JJ Hickson has plenty of help. Maybe it's a little bit of "look, shiny new power forward!" syndrome, but more likely, if the chemistry issues are as significant as they appear to be, it's an indication that the rest of the team can't figure out how to play with him. Or that when they get him the ball in the post, they give up on the possession. Could they really resent him that much?

I don't think JJ is being selfish, and his turnovers have inflated his usage to a certain extent, but if Lowe doesn't think the offense is broken simply because Costner and McCauley have been terrible, the alternative conclusion is that it's broken because it's become a single-minded exercise in getting JJ Hickson the basketball. Regardless, there is no fluidity in what we are doing right now. Everyone looks like a square peg attempting to fit into a round hole.

Lowe's tried to smooth things over by putting McCauley back into the starting lineup, giving him more time with Costner, and bringing Hickson off the bench. But while Ben's minutes have increased, his productivity hasn't. And we can't afford to play Hickson any less--not only is he productive offensively, he's a shot blocking threat at the defensive end and the team's best rebounder. So everybody's gonna have to figure their shit out while JJ is on the floor. There is no other option. We don't have the luxury of attempting to work the situation out in practice while integrating him into games gradually. He's far too talented for that, and as a team we are too weak where he is strong.

 eFG% ORtg %Poss %Shots PPWS Ast% OR% DR%
McCauley 2007 58.4 112.5 22.8 22.8 1.20 19.2 9.5 14.4
McCauley 2008 37.0 90.1 15.7 17.1 0.83 12.0 6.8 7.6