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CJ McCollum Improvement Continues To Turn Heads

McCollum is on his way to becoming one of the NBA's best all-around scorers.

Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Following an impressive, near triple-double performance to lead the Blazers to victory over the Sacramento Kings, shooting guard CJ McCollum's versatile yet efficient arsenal was profiled by SBNation's Yaron Weitzman.

Weitzman suggests throughout the piece that while much of McCollum's improvement is due to an increased role, few players actually raise their efficiency when their minutes increase as drastically as McCollum's have this season.

But even his biggest proponents couldn't have expected a season like this. The 24-year-old McCollum isn't just scoring more, he's scoring better. He's playing 35 minutes a game and averaging more than 20 points per game on 44 percent shooting. He's become more efficient even while taking up more pages in the opponent's scouting report.

McCollum was near career-highs in most categories against the Kings to lead the Blazers to their second victory in as many nights. He is now averaging 20.4 ppg in 2015, up from 6.8 ppg in 2014-15.

With backcourt mate Damian Lillard out with plantar fasciitis, the Blazers put the ball in McCollum's hands even more frequently. The third-year guard responded with a 35-point, 11-rebound, nine-assist, four-steal effort, leading Portland to a 98-94 upset road win that could be crucial in the race for the postseason.

As he's done all season, McCollum put up numbers without being reckless or sloppy. Lots of NBA guards can drop 25 in a game if they play 41 minutes (which McCollum did) and always have the ball in their hands. Fewer can do so while shooting 50 percent from the floor and only coughing the ball up twice.

Weitzman continues to point out (including GIFs) the variety of ways in which McCollums scores, with an effective floater and step-back jumper, along with an explosive first step and quick release that lets him get his shot off from anywhere. Examples of each can be found in the full highlights of McCollum's big night against the Kings (below).

Read the entirety of Weitzman's piece here.


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