A clerical error has done something few opposing teams have managed this season: Stop C.J. McCollum.
McCollum, the Blazers second leading scorer, will not play tonight after he was inadvertently marked as inactive on the official score sheet submitted to the referee's before tip-off. Jason Quick covered the situation on Twitter:
Blazers said a "clerical error" was made pregame in the inactive list,which included CJ McCollum as inactive. But they said it was corrected— Jason Quick (@jwquick) January 7, 2016
Quick further notes on Twitter that, apparently, Luis Montero's name was accidentally circled on the official roster submitted to the referees 60 minutes prior to tip-off. Head Coach Terry Stotts attempted to correct the oversight but his appeal was denied. The Clippers coaching staff may have protested Portland's attempts to fix their mistake.
I believe the Clippers fought the Blazers correction and won. As a result, CJ McCollum, Portland's second leading scorer, can not play— Jason Quick (@jwquick) January 7, 2016
The Blazers and Clippers also reportedly called the league office to clarify the situation before the game began.
The Clippers and Trail Blazers collectively called the NBA and the league ruled that C.J. McCollum had to remain inactive.— Ben Bolch (@latbbolch) January 7, 2016
Tonight is not Clippers Head Coach Doc Rivers first experience with this rule. He improperly altered a lineup sheet two years ago, and former Clipper Danny Granger was not permitted to play.
Arash Markazi of ESPN tweeted a picture of the official roster that Rivers filled out the night of the Granger mistake that further illuminates the situation.
Danny Granger's name written but not circled on the active list thus making him inactive tonight. pic.twitter.com/JRdlAXjaej— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) March 2, 2014
Markazi's photo shows that teams literally circle the number next to the player's name to indicate who is active or inactive. Montero would directly follow McCollum on the team roster, which may explain tonight's error.
If the Blazers had tried to substitute McCollum into the game the team would have been assessed a technical and McCollum would have been ejected. The Charlotte Hornets suffered this consequence when Jeff McInnis was subbed into a game in 2007 after being marked as inactive.
McCollum is averaging 21 points and 4.4 assists per game and is a presumptive frontrunner to win the NBA's Most Improved Player Award.