Blazers will start J.J. Hickson at center

Three weeks, six exhibition games and more than a dozen practices have cemented J.J. Hickson’s stranglehold on the Trail Blazers’ starting center job.

Coach Terry Stotts on Tuesday said Hickson will be his starting center Halloween night, when the Blazers open the regular season against the Los Angeles Lakers.

“He’s earned it,” Stotts said. “He’s played well.”

Heading into training camp, Stotts said the undersized Hickson would be the favorite to man the middle because of his experience in the NBA and his 19-game history with the Blazers last season. But Stotts wouldn’t simply hand Hickson the starting spot, he’d have to beat out rookies Meyers Leonard and Joel Freeland for the gig.

– Reported by Joe Freeman of the Oregonian

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