The Portland Trail Blazers used the 10th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft to address their need on the bench that was glaring last season. They used that pick to select the offensively talented C.J. McCollum and, though they also added Mo Williams to their backcourt in free agency, figured he’d be a contributor in their rotation.
However, McCollum hasn’t been available for much of the season due to a foot injury that he suffered in the preseason. The Blazers haven’t missed him too terribly in terms of success as they’ve been one of the best teams in the Western Conference and the entire league, but they could have used more production from their reserves.
McCollum was activated this past week, though, after completing a rehab assignment. However, for the first game that he was active he didn’t touch the floor. In his first appearance this past Wednesday, he put up just four points and two rebounds in 14 minutes while shooting only 25 from the field and missing both of his attempts from three.
On Saturday against the Boston Celtics, though, McCollum made his second appearance for Portland and gave everyone a glimpse of why people around the league are so high on his potential as a pro. Once again playing 14 minutes, McCollum put up 10 points, one assist and one board while shooting 4-6 from the field and 2-3 from long-range.
Coming out of college, people raved about McCollum’s versatility as an offensive player, even if he was coming out of a mid-major college program in Lehigh. McCollum has the ability to score as a spot-up shooter, a pull-up shooter, and a penetrator finishing at the rim. Coming into the draft, he was one of the prospects I was the highest on; Saturday night finally gave everyone a glimpse as to why.