Hello Blazers fans, Antonio here. The Blazers had a disastrous trip in Minnesota on Saturday and Sunday, losing one game and barely squeaking by in another. That’s bad. But as I sat down after my college classes to write this recap, I was blessed.
He’s back. After a 25 game absence, CJ McCollum has returned from his fractured foot. Let’s take a closer look.
Wolves Expose Blazers
Well, first, I guess I should mention how the Blazers’ venture to Minnesota went. The first game saw Portland limp away with a 125-121 win that was a tight affair. The defense was tough to watch, and only a vintage Carmelo Anthony performance saved the team.
On Sunday, Portland’s limp turned into a full on broken leg. They hobbled out of the gates, only scoring six points in the first six minutes of the game, leading to the worst scoring quarter of the season. Despite Damian Lillard’s 38 points, the Blzer’s comeback fell just short, losing 112-114.
Throughout the games, Portland looked lethargic, out of touch, and just plain tired. This second half of the season will be full of back-to-backs, and the team is playing heavy minutes game in and game out. The loss to the worst team in the league shows that they are missing some people badly.
CJ IS BACK
It’s been far too long since we’ve seen the Blazers’ star SG take the court. After going down with what seemed like a minor ankle injury against Atlanta on January 16th, McCollum has missed 25 games with a fractured foot. McCollum will be making his debut Tuesday night against New Orleans.
WIthout CJ, Gary Trent did an admirable job stepping in for the first 17 games. The last eight games, however, Trent has been in a bit of a slump. His three point shooting has dipped to 26% over those last eight. While a phenomenal player and prospect, it will be nice to have his firepower off of the bench, not starting.
For weeks and weeks I’ve talked about how much Portland needs CJ back. I’ve excused some bad losses because of injuries. Well, he’s back. It’s gut check time now. With the Blazers’ schedule ramping up in difficulty, they need CJ to return to his 26.7 PPG self. Soon.
Next Up: Portland rejoices and the nation watches as CJ returns on national television vs. the Pelicans on Tuesday.
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