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Coach confirms Lillard, Hickson will start for Blazers

Lamarcus Aldridge Wesley Matthews

The names aren’t really a surprise, but it shows that the Trail Blazers are going to be young and athletic this season. And a lot of fun to watch.

Speaking with the media, coach Terry Stotts confirmed the starting five in Portland (via Joe Freeman of the Oregonian): Damian Lillard, Wesley Mathews, Nicolas Batum, J.J. Hickson, and LaMarcus Aldridge.

That’s a pretty interesting group. Aldridge is a legitimate All-Star big man, a guy you can build around. Batum gives the Blazers good offense and great perimeter defense with a smart all-around game.

Lillard is a talented rookie who was a co-MVP of Summer League (and is my pick for Rookie of the Year), a guy who can score but has to learn to run a team. Hickson and Mathews are athletic guys getting a chance to prove they should be starters trusted with major minutes.

Portland is not a huge threat as constructed, not in a deep Western Conference. But they are pretty good, and definitely interesting. This could be one fun team to watch.