Since the last ALUMNI WATCH, the Portland Trail Blazers have played three games. They won 102-94 last Friday at home against the Jazz, they downed the Timberwolves 108-97 on Sunday, also in Portland, and they beat the Nuggets in Denver 100-95 last night for the second time this season; the first time Portland has down that since the 1996-97 season. LaMarcus Aldridge has been out with a strained left groin but obviously the Blazers have been successful despite Aldridge’s absence; mainly due to Damian Lillard. As I wrote in the last post, Lillard scored 31 points in the first game after competing in all five All Star Events. Well, Lillard has followed up that game by scored 28, 32, and 31 points in these three games.
CJ McCollum has seen time in all three of these games. His stats:
Friday vs. Utah: 14:35 Min, 7 Pts (3-9 FG, 1-3 3Pt), 2 Reb, 1 Stl, 1 TO, 1 PF, -7
Sunday vs. Minnesota: 4:15 Min, 0-1 FG, 1 TO, -6
Tuesday @ Denver: 6:03 Min, 0 Shots, 1 Reb, 1 Stl, 1 TO, 1 PF, -8
Honestly, seeing CJ play just over 14 minutes in the last two games doesn’t really surprise me considering Damian Lillard’s play AND the fact that Wesley Matthews has scored in double figures in those contests as well. Portland’s rotation has also increased to include Will Barton who has also seen more time than CJ.
Tonight, the Blazers return home to host the Brooklyn Nets. LaMarcus Aldridge is out with his groin injury so it’s very possible we’ll see Damian Lillard go off once again for the Blazers’ fourth-straight win. In the minutes CJ plays, he’ll be guarding either Shaun Livingston or Marcus Thornton; they average 7.7 points on about 25 minutes and 8.3 points on about 24 minutes, respectively. This game starts right about NOW but unfortunately unless you live in the areas of Portland or NYC, you won’t be able to catch this game. Check back later tonight for the recap on both the game and CJ’s play.