Mahoney: Blazers F/C J.J. Hickson Among NBA's Most Improved

Steve Dykes-US PRESSWIRE

Portland Trail Blazers forward/center J.J. Hickson was included on a list of the NBA's Most Improved players during the 2012-13 season.

Rob Mahoney of SI.com included Portland Trail Blazers forward/center J.J. Hickson on the "reserves" unit of his "All-Improvement Team" for the 2012-13 season. Here's why...

J.J. Hickson, Portland Trail Blazers: Hickson doesn't make all that much sense as a part of Portland's rebuilding core, but that hasn't stopped him from having a career year as a center placeholder. Though playing alongside LaMarcus Aldridge apparently yields the opportunity for any eager center to get their fill of rebounds, Hickson has surpassed any reasonable expectation by doing elite-level work on the glass this season. Reggie Evans and Anderson Varejao are the only players in the league to post a higher total rebounding percentage than Hickson, and it's by his efforts alone that Portland is even remotely passable in any rebounding regard. We've seen flashes of this kind of productivity from Hickson before (most notably in 2010-11, in his last season as a Cavalier), but the consistency of this rebounding surge offers his game a new credibility.

-- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

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