The Portland Trail Blazers went into this past offseason knowing that addressing their bench was of the utmost importance. After a 2012-2013 NBA season in which their bench essentially cost Portland a spot in the postseason, the Blazers realized that adding quality depth to their team would help elevate them to a new level.
Though the Blazers also added several key pieces like Robin Lopez, Dorell Wright and Mo Williams this summer to help give them some depth, one of their most exciting additions came in the 2013 NBA Draft when they used their pick in the lottery to draft guard C.J. McCollum out of Lehigh.
However, at the start of training camp, McCollum’s rookie campaign was brought to an abrupt halt as he broke his left foot in practice. With rehab and recovery, it was clear that McCollum would miss a good chunk of the regular season and that the Blazers would have to wait to see the talented scorer in action.
Now it seems like the time for McCollum’s debut may finally be upon us. After being cleared for three-on-three halfcourt scrimmaging a little less than two weeks ago, McCollum has upgraded to participating in a full practice, which he did on Friday, for the first time since the injury occurred, per The Oregonian.
The Blazers haven’t announced when they plan to bring McCollum into the lineup, but it does appear, at least judging by his progression with practicing, that his return will happen in the near future. If that is truly the case, the Blazers could be even better than they’ve already looked this season.
Portland boasts the league’s best offense so far this season, putting up a phenomenal 110.5 points per 100 possessions. They’ve also been able to do that with Williams being their only reliable option at guard off of the bench. McCollum is a player who’s able to flat-out score the basketball and do so in a variety of ways. Adding him to the reserves of this Blazers team, in my supposition, will only make them even better. Considering how prolific their offense has been and that the Blazers are already 23-5 on the year, that could mean bad news for the rest of the NBA.