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Trail Blazers Christmas Gifts: Free Throws for CJ McCollum

The Blazers need to squeeze a couple extra points out of their offense to make up for shaky “D”. Here’s one way.

NBA: Orlando Magic at Portland Trail Blazers Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

Merry Christmas, Portland Trail Blazers fans! Today Blazer’s Edge is celebrating the holiday in the form of the worst Christmas Song ever written. The staff has compiled a list of gifts suitable for the team, and we’re running them down in 12 posts...with not a partridge or a leaping lord anywhere to be seen. We hope you enjoy the holiday and help us reflect on good wishes for the Blazers!

On the third day of Christmas, true fans give to the team...

CJ Fouls

CJ McCollum is a brilliant scorer, the most versatile the Blazers have. He’s a throwback to the time guards could score anywhere and everywhere. Analytics be damned. If the ball’s in his hands, the defense is in danger.

McCollum’s robust 22.4 per game scoring average could get a huge boost with a few more free throws, though. He averages just 2.4 per game, the same per 36 minutes. That’s low for a high-powered scoring guard. Lillard averages 7.4 free throws per game; Carmelo Anthony is averaging 3.1 in six fewer minutes. Even two more points per contest would elevate McCollum back to super-elite scoring status. It might push the Blazers over the dreaded negative margin of victory line as well.