The Portland Trail Blazers have been on a roll lately as they return from a road trip wherein the team went 5-1, picking up wins against the Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies, Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics, and Cleveland Cavaliers. According to Jason Quick of the Athletic, this recent performance can be attributed to a variety of things: a predictable rotation on the court, a largely healthy squad, and more shooting power than just Damian Lillard. Quick believes that this team could go farther than the 2019 Western Conference Finalists did because of the changes to the construction of the roster. Meanwhile, CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard are keeping their eyes on the prize: the postseason.
“The regular season is what it is,” McCollum said later that night. “It’s important, but guys make their mark in the playoffs, so you need to be healthy, playing your best basketball, and rotations need to be figured out. And defensively, you want to kind of be in one accord.”
“Now, it’s like, ‘How are we playing as a team? Where are we as a team?’ ” Lillard said. “Playing well at the right time matters.”
McCollum knows the team has the experience where it counts.
“We have a lot of guys who understand, who have played in big games, have played in the playoffs,” McCollum said. “You want to be playing your best basketball possible heading there, and you want to be as healthy as possible. And I think both of those things are ringing true for us.”
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