With JaVale McGee out for the foreseeable future because of a stress fracture in his leg, J.J. Hickson made his third consecutive start at center for the Nuggets on Friday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Denver coach Brian Shaw is leaning toward sticking with that and bringing center Timofey Mozgov off the bench, preserving a routine and rhythm that has been effective for Mozgov in the season's early going. At 6-foot-9 and 242 pounds, Hickson spent most of last season as an undersized center with the Portland Trail Blazers. He opened Friday's game guarding 6-11 Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic, with Kenneth Faried on Minnesota star Kevin Love. "He started at center most of last season, so he's comfortable in that role," Shaw said of Hickson on Friday morning. "With Timo with that combination of guys who come in with the second unit, as he gets it going, we can take advantage of his size. "I think Timo is comfortable and understands when he's coming into the game. He's on a nice roll right now and I don't want to disturb that." Hickson said he has no problem playing center again. "With the way teams play nowadays, going small, I think there was potential for a power forward playing center," he said. "With JaVale out, other players on this team, including me, need to step up and fill the void."