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Blazers coach Terry Stotts addresses CJ McCollum’s back injury rumors

Terry Stotts, CJ McCollum, Blazers

Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts confirmed the rumors that shooting guard CJ McCollum is playing through a back injury.

The Blazers have to defeat the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night or else their 2019-20 season is over. If Portland wins, they will face the Memphis Grizzlies in the play-in game.

The winner of the play-in game will face the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the playoffs.

No one inside the Blazers organization is surprised that McCollum is playing through this back injury. He’s as fierce of a competitor there is in the NBA and he’s willing to gut it out for his teammates in a win-or-go-home situation.

McCollum entered Thursday averaging 19.4 points in the seeding games. He’s shooting 43.1 percent from the field and 41.7 percent from beyond the arc at Disney World. Overall on the season, McCollum is putting up 22.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.4 assists for the Blazers. He continues to be one of the most consistent performers in the NBA year in and year out.

The Blazers made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals last season. With that said, it would be a bummer if the team fails to make the playoffs altogether this season.

However, Portland could be a surefire playoff team next season with Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic leading the charge the whole season. Nurkic missed most of this season recovering from his leg injury.

The Blazers could also re-sign Carmelo Anthony, who becomes a free agent in the offseason. He’s played well with the team.