FanPost

Slide LA to the 5? Is Hickson a lineup catalyst?

The hecticity and hopeful times of the offseason are about to be upon us, which of course leaves us wannabe-GM's plenty of time and opportunity to showcase our 'dream' starting 5's/rotations to the rest of us. Portland has a solid opportunity to get 2 excellent prospects in the upcoming draft, and I want to spread and provoke some theories I have forecasted about next year and create a friendly discussion.

I know there has been some talks about starting LA at the 5 and putting Hickson at the deserving(?) starting 4 spot. I am in favor of this. This gives us an opportunity to spread the D out and allow these 2 faceup-ish guys some room to work. However a couple issues I have with this is LA's defense, and Hickson's consistency. Hickson seems to play much better on the break rather than in half court sets. Does this limit his starting potential? Can he refine his 15 footer(currently about 30%) to become a legitimate jumpshot threat? Those questions remain to be answered, but at this point i think it is worth a try. He plays with a certain tenaciousness that is cut from the Gerald Wallace cloth (although not to the same extent) that is a necessary catalyst for energetic Rose Garden teams. It is a fairly low risk maneuver, but I think we stuck gold in this pickup, and he finally found a home here. Hopefully he continues his play into next year and becomes that fiery, fan favorite type player that we desperately need.

The other glaring issue is can LA defend the 5. The short answer is probably. He won't be a defensive force but I think we can enforce a bend but not break philosophy with LA defending 5s. I am not necessarily afraid of this, but one issue I see is him getting manhandled on the block by much physical players on (Dwight etc). I think putting LA at the 5 isnt optimum, but is definitely plausible. If we want to try and use Elmer's glue to build up a contending team for the next 1-2 years then I think this may be possible, but if we are going to use superglue for the future than we need to find a Franchise 5 and just let LA and Hickson run the 4.

Thoughts?

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