The Portland Trail Blazers have finally returned to Zach Lowe’s weekly “Ten Things I Like (and Don’t Like) About the NBA” column. After weeks and weeks in morose purgatory, the Blazers broke through with the recent performances of CJ McCollum, who averaged 33.3 points over a half-dozen games in the absence of backcourt mate Damian Lillard.
Lowe takes a moment to appreciate McCollum’s fancy moves, especially his hesitation crossover. After going straight up Blazer’s Edge by labeling McCollum’s bag of tricks “deeper than Hermione Granger’s magic handbag” (Pretty close, Zach...keep working on it. Hint: You didn’t need the word “magic”.) he shares video evidence, then offers this take:
A lot of the discussion around McCollum focuses on the weaker spots in his game, and the sustainability of his partnership with Lillard. Fair. There are McCollum-centric trades that might better balance Portland’s roster.
But don’t lose sight of what a wizard this dude is — what an absolute gamer. He has missed 21 games combined over the past five seasons. He ranks in the top 20 in minutes every season, and can run around forever without getting tired.
Other topics in Lowe’s recipe book this week include Nikola Jokic, Cam Reddish, the Knicks’ floor balance, and Luguentz Dort.