CJ McCollum on idea of load management for Portland — ‘You’ll Kawhi your way out of the playoffs’
Times have definitely changed for the NBA. These days, load management nights off have become a prevalent thing, allowing some players to take certain games off in order to rest and recuperate. This was unheard of a decade or so ago, but nowadays, its as if each and every team already has this common practice in place.
For his part, Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum definitely understands the importance of load management, but admits that his team is wary of overdoing the same, in the fear of falling behind in such a ruthless Western Conference.
“The race in the Western Conference is extremely tight,” CJ McCollum explained, via Joe Freeman of Oregon Live. I don’t know if we can afford to Kawhi it, so to speak. You’ll Kawhi your way out of the playoffs.”
It’s hard to argue against McCollum’s notion here, and it’s also very interesting to note the term he used to described the concept.
As many of us know, the Toronto Raptors did a very impressive job in managing the load of reigning Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard throughout last season. The 28-year-old was coming off an injury-ridden season the previous year with the San Antonio Spurs, and with this in mind, the Raptors were very careful about not overloading their star man.
Leonard played in only 60 regular season games for Toronto last term, which kept him fresh for a deep postseason run. We all know how that turned out, and this tactical achievement has since gotten widespread praise throughout the league.
As a matter of fact, it has become quite the barometer, and McCollum’s statement here is testament to the fact that many teams will be using Toronto’s techniques as an ideal gauge for proper load management.