What 2 Watch 4 - Trail Blazers Vs. Nuggets

what2watch4banner600_0.jpg

matchuplopezvshickson600x250.jpg


Robin Lopez vs. JJ Hickson

Portland’s 31-11 mark just past the halfway point of the season has come with just one change to the starting lineup from last year. Clearly, Robin Lopez’s impact on the team transcends anything we can learn from statistics, but his numbers do paint part of the picture. Lopez has 31 double-doubles in his six-year career, and more than half of them have come in this half-season alone (16). He ranks ninth in the NBA with a 54.9% field goal shooting mark while averaging double figures in scoring (10.4). And he has provided a steady defensive presence for the Trail Blazers, ranking 15th in the league in blocks per game (1.45). Lopez is having the type of career year that Trail Blazers fans saw their starting center have last season. That big man, Denver’s JJ Hickson, joined Dwight Howard as the NBA’s only players to average at least 12 points and 10 rebounds while shooting 55% from the floor last year. In his first year with the Nuggets, Hickson has nearly matched those scoring (11.5) and rebounding (9.2) totals from a year ago. And he only continues to bolster his numbers heading into tonight’s Portland reunion. Over the last five games, Hickson has notched four double-doubles while averaging 13.8 points (55.8%) and 13.4 rebounds per contest.

Robin Lopez

• Ranks ninth in the NBA in field goal shooting (54.9%) and 15th in blocks per game (1.45)
• Has recorded more double-doubles this season (16) than the rest of his career combined (15)
• In his first season with Portland after being acquired from New Orleans as part of a three-team trade on July 10, 2013

JJ Hickson

• Ranks tied for 16th in the NBA in rebounds per game (9.2) and 29th in field goal shooting (50.1%)
• Averaging 13.8 points (55.8% FG) and 13.4 rebounds over the past five games, including four double-doubles
• In his first season with Denver after signing as a free agent and spending last season with Portland