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Zach Lowe Compliments CJ McCollum’s Driving, Passing

The ESPN analyst sees good things from Portland’s shooting guard.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Toronto Raptors John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN analyst Zach Lowe sees even more things he likes from the Portland Trail Blazers in this week’s edition of his NBA column “10 Things I Like and Don’t Like”. In this case Lowe praises the penetration-passing game of Trail Blazers shooting guard CJ McCollum, using a nifty pass to forward Zach Collins from beneath the bucket as his video evidence.

The explanation is too long to recount here; you’ll have to visit Lowe’s actual article and see the video for yourself. After running the pick-and-roll, McCollum finds himself sandwiched by a pair of defenders. Lowe explains:

The worst thing McCollum can do is loiter under the rim. If he just moves -- anywhere, really -- he can leverage that confusion against the defense, and perhaps spring into a void with no one trailing him. And if the big man -- Theis -- takes him, McCollum can just run the galoot ragged. The most convenient place to go: the near corner.

Smart guards get open looks this way all the time.

One take-away point: Lowe’s analysis compares McCollum to elite point guards—including John Wall and Steph Curry—bolstering the idea that Portland’s backcourt starters have the tools to play either position.

Lowe also discusses the All-Star Game format, LeBron James upping the pace, and the development of OG Anunoby among his 10 Things.