Blazers’ CJ McCollum looking to go all the way with Damian Lillard instead of being on his own
The 2019-20 NBA season had a Western Conference finalist in the Portland Trail Blazers reassessing the strength of its roster after soon finding themselves out of the playoff picture. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum helped the team rally back to contention, but the Blazers could still fall short of the postseason, 3.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the eighth spot.
ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, host of The Jump, asked McCollum if he could ever see himself flirting with his own solo venture. McCollum swiftly turned that down:
“I’m just more about winning. At the end of the day I know what I can do, I know what I’m capable of,” said McCollum. “I know what type of numbers I could put up if I had my own team and I know that I’m capable of doing those things, but I think it’s important that we [he and Lillard] continue to learn and figure out how to coexist so that we can become as great as possible together and win a championship.”
McCollum also agreed with Lillard about resuming the season with a potential play-in tournament, something that would favor the ninth-place Blazers scrap a place in the postseason.
“We had 16 games left to make a run,” said McCollum. “We had a lot of guys that were hurt, that were supposed to come back actually the week the season was shut down. So, I wouldn’t mind playing in a single-game elimination, or a best of three, or whatever the case may be to qualify for the eighth seed.
McCollum seems just as committed to finishing his career in Portland as Lillard is — a trait that likely makes them such a reliably explosive backcourt. Having that full trust in one another surely helps the two high-octane scorers plan ahead, especially now that they both signed long-term extensions prior to the start of the season.