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Freeman: Meyers Leonard to Start vs. Suns

Joe Freeman of the Oregonian reports that Meyers Leonard will start tonight in the Portland Trail Blazers second pre-season game against the Phoenix Suns. Leonard replaces center J.J. Hickson who bruised his ribs in Portland's first exhibition game Wednesday versus the Los Angeles Lakers.

Rookie Meyers Leonard will fill in at center for the injured J.J. Hickson, who suffered a bruised left rib during a hard spill against the Lakers on Wednesday night. Hickson did not practice with the team Thursday, did not go through the Blazers' morning shootaround Friday and will be unavailable against the Suns.

Freeman also has reaction from Leonard:

"It's definitely a different experience to hear your name in that starting lineup," Leonard said. "But it's just a preseason game. So I keep going back to it - I have to continue to prove myself.

Tip-off is at 7:00 p.m. The game is televised locally on CSNNW and nationally on NBA TV. Talk about Leonard's first start as a Blazer in the Blazer's Edge Gameday Thread, opening at 6:00 p.m.

Thanks to PortlandPhil for the tip in the Fanshots.

--Dave (