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Blazers Push Beyond Their Playoff Past

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According to Scott Cacciola of the New York Times, this Blazers squad is relishing the challenge of the playoffs.

NBA: Playoffs-Oklahoma City Thunder at Portland Trail Blazers Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Following last year’s sweep in the NBA Playoffs, the Portland Trail Blazers approached this season’s series against the Oklahoma City Thunder looking to start anew, reports Scott Cacciola of the New York Times. According to Cacciola, players returned to training cap in the fall ready to address where they had fallen short in the playoffs. Shooting guard CJ McCollum addressed the opportunity posed by this year’s playoffs.

“I approached it the same way I always do: as a challenge,” McCollum said late Sunday night, after helping the Trail Blazers defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder, 111-98, to take a three-games-to-one lead in their first-round playoff series. “I take this game very seriously, and I’m thankful that I was able to go through those struggles, because it made me a better person.”

Whether it is the team coalescing, or embracing Damian Lillard’s leadership as he pushes them to higher heights, Cacciola concludes with one thought: McCollum, who usually visits his brother Erick in the off-season, won’t be traveling to Russia in the near future.

You can read Cacciola’s piece here.