Blazer Banter

Meyers Leonard to get back-up center minutes, Beverley will play for Houston

Portland’s Joel Freeland had won the back-up center job in training camp but strained his left hip on Saturday and is listed as day-to-day. The Blazers have placed Freeland on their inactive list for Tuesday’s game against Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets.

Terry Stotts confirmed that Meyers Leonard would get the back-up center minutes for tonight’s game. Stotts says he is confident in Leonard after a good week of practice but said that he would see how things go.

“When Joel earned his minutes, it’s a long season,” said Stotts. “Meyers’ season wasn’t over by any means even though it was a huge story at the time. Meyers is ready, he had a great week of practice, he really competed and I have a lot of confidence in him.”

The other storyline emerging from pregame is the return of Patrick Beverley to the Houston line-up. He was going through a rigorous workout with Houston’s reserves.

Beverley looked very good in the workout and he will play in tonight’s game. Head coach Kevin McHale responded with a “we’ll see” with regards to starting him.

The Rockets struggled last night against Chris Paul and the Clippers. Beverley is a superior defensive guard to Jeremy Lin.

Terry Stotts had this to say regarding the dimension Beverley gives Houston: “He’s tenacious defender. He really puts a lot of pressure on the ball. Not only are they a different team but he gives them depth. Assuming that he starts, you get a player like Jeremy Lin coming off the bench that gives them a different dynamic.”

Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen is the Trail Blazers beat reporter for The Columbian. He's a graduate of the Allen School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon in addition earning a degree in Spanish. He started writing about NBA Basketball for SwishScout.com before being the Sports Reporter Intern for TrailBlazers.com. He also fist-bumped with Kanye West once. Follow @BlazerBanter on twitter for more Blazers and NBA news.

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