Marc J. Spears: Blazers guard CJ McCollum says his back fracture won’t need surgery and he could resume normal activities after two months of rest.
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Jamie Hudson: Blazers Injurt Report for Game 1 vs. Lakers: Zach Collins (left ankle inflammation) and F Nassir Little (dehydration recovery) are out; CJ McCollum (vertebral fracture) is available for Tuesday’s game.
In between games, McCollum said that he received treatment on his back “all the time.” He took ice baths as late a 1 a.m. after games. And considering he has labored through ankle, knee and chest injuries this season, McCollumn willingly accepted the pain would not dissipate. “It was all mental. I was fortunate enough to have an injury I can play through, and our training staff has done a great job of monitoring it,” McCollum said. “You understand you’re playing more than just yourself. We have a chance to do special things as a unit and I want to be a part of it.”
When McCollum’s shots did not initially fall, he felt validated that his approach still worked. Though he conceded the back pain has affected his shot, McCollum still labored through the adjustments. “I’m comfortable with failing. That is what drives me,” McCollum said. “I could miss all of these shots and I’d be here talking to you the same way and going on with my day the same way because I prepared. That’s the biggest thing in this sport. When you prepare, you have extra confidence. I think the team is confident in me. One, they’ve seen me deliver. Two, they know how I work.”
Through every superb or uneven performance, McCollum stubbornly remained available. “His back has been messed up the whole time since the first game, but he gave no excuses,” Lillard said. “He didn’t sit out or look for a way out. He just stayed with it. I know who I’m stepping on the court with, and there’s a reason I got the faith and trust in him that I do. People saw his character and who he truly is. He’s still hurt. But when it comes down to it, he rises to the occasion. That’s who he is and what I expect from him.”
Jeff Stotts: Re: CJ McCollum: Transverse process fractures of the spine aren’t unheard of in professional sports. Cam Newton & Tony Romo endured the injury while NBA players, including Hedo Turkoglu & Mike Conley, have sustained the injury in recent season.
Lillard’s confidence and appreciation for McCollum playing through pain when the Blazers need him as they make their final playoff push is yet another layer of the duo’s special relationship. He’s a little bit banged up. He’s making no excuses or looking for no way out. He’s thuggin’ it out for the team and being out there for us, and fortunate for us, him doing that meant he was out there for those last free throws and came through for us. — Trail Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard on CJ McCollum
CJ McCollum had a rough night from the field for the Trail Blazers Tuesday, but he’s playing with a serious injury.
At this point in the season, the seven-year shooting guard realizes that his ankle most likely won’t be back to a 100 percent. “[It’s] as good as it’s going to be,” McCollum said. “I feel good. I’m moving well. I can cut now. Last game I did some testing and it just wasn’t ready. I wasn’t able to do some of things I wanted to do, chasing, cutting on it. So, I’ll do some more testing on it tomorrow, but if I feel how I feel now, and I’m pain free on most of my movements like I am now, I like my chances.”
Blazers head coach Terry Stotts emphasized that they won’t make a decision on McCollum’s availability against the Pacers until game day. “He looked good. So we’ll see how he feels tomorrow. We’re hopeful that he’ll play, but that won’t be decided until tomorrow,” Stotts said.
Jason Quick: Blazers announce CJ McCollum is out tonight with sprained ankle. It will be his 3rd straight game he’s missed.
The Portland Trail Blazers are uncertain about the severity of the left ankle sprain that forced shooting guard CJ McCollum to exit Friday night’s 120-112 loss to the Dallas Mavericks early in the second quarter. “Usually, the second day is the worst,” McCollum said. “So we’ll see how it feels tomorrow. Get some treatment, try to compress it and see how it feels.”
Casey Holdahl: CJ McCollum (illness) is out for tonight’s game vs. Heat.
Jason Quick: Blazers announce that CJ McCollum and Seth Curry will be available tonight against Denver. Gary Trent Jr. (sick) is out.
Nick Kosmider: CJ McCollum will play “limited minutes” tonight for the Trail Blazers, his first action since the middle of March.
Kerry Eggers: Terry Stotts says Blazers coaches will have a discussion Monday about how they’ll handle @CJ McCollum’s playing status for final 2 regular-season games against Lakers and Kings. I’m guessing as long as tonight’s game vs. Denver goes well, CJ will sit out one of final two #RipCity
Joe Freeman: CJ McCollum is doing some (very) light ball-handling and passing work after the Blazers’ practice under the watchful eye of team Health and Performace guru Jess Elis.
McCollum, who is averaging more than 21 points a game for Portland, has a strained left knee. He’ll be re-evaluated next week, but at this point there’s no timetable for his return. The injury comes at an inopportune time for the Blazers, who sit in fourth in the tight Western Conference standings with 12 games left to secure home-court advantage. “Mentally, I don’t want him to have to rush it,” Lillard said about McCollum’s return. “When he does come back I want him to be himself and be healthy, so in my mind, we’re going to finish the regular season without him, maybe the last couple of games of the regular season. I think that’s how I should think of it, knowing that we have to have a great effort for these last 12 games, planning on not having him out there.”
Joe Freeman: Damian Lillard on CJ McCollum’s left knee injury and when his backcourt mate might return: “I don’t want him to have to rush it. And when he does come back, I want him to be himself and be healthy. So, in my mind, we’re going to finish the regular season without him.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: Portland guard CJ McCollum has a popliteus strain in his left knee. He will be re-examined in a week.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Best possible news for McCollum and Blazers, who avoided a serious injury.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Portland guard @CJ McCollum will undergo an MRI on his left knee on Sunday, league sources tell ESPN.
The Blazers said McCollum had a “left leg injury” after X-rays were negative. He will undergo an MRI on Sunday morning. McCollum said he did not hear his knee pop but felt immediate pain and discomfort in it. “I don’t know the extent of it,” McCollum said. “I don’t know if it’s lateral . I don’t know. I just know that it’s not normal.”
“I went up for a layup, a left-hand layup, and big fella (former Blazer Jakob Poeltl) blocked it,” McCollum said. “I landed on my foot, kind of trapped my foot on the ground, felt my knee kind of twist. I was in pain. It hurts. You never want to get hurt, man. Not ever, especially at this point in the season. There’s nothing I can do about it but rehab and see what they say. I can walk, but I’m not sure what the extent of it is. Obviously, on the replay it’s hard to kind of see it because my foot is trapped and his body is there. But there’s some discomfort, some pain in certain areas. So we’ll see what happens. It’s definitely around my knee, but I don’t know the extent of it. I don’t know if it’s lateral. I don’t know. I just know that it’s not normal.”
McCollum exited under assistance with 7:03 remaining in the third quarter. He remained on the court for a few minutes clutching his left leg in great pain after tumbling out of bounds when his driving left-handed layup was blocked by Jakob Poeltl. McCollum had his left foot trapped under Poeltl’s right foot as both landed, leading the Blazers guard to tumble out of bounds next to the stanchion. “I feel bad for C.J. I hope he’s OK,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. “He’s a great player and a great kid.”
Portland Trail Blazers star CJ McCollum received a PRP injection during the offseason to relieve pain and alleviate minor swelling in his right knee, league sources told Yahoo Sports. McCollum, 27, has returned to playing at a high level after receiving the treatment about four months ago, scoring nine points in 12 minutes in Portland’s preseason opener against the Toronto Raptors on Saturday.
McCollum experienced persistent soreness during the latter part of the 2017-18 campaign and sought a remedy at the conclusion of the season, sources said. The Blazers’ season ended April 21 after a first-round playoff sweep by the New Orleans Pelicans. An MRI revealed no structural damage and he was administered a PRP treatment early in the offseason in Los Angeles, sources said.
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September 20, 2020 | 2:19 pm EDT Update
“You want to start with whoever our free agents are,” Ujiri said. “There’s a priority for Fred. We also have to look at the game and see where the game is going. We are all waiting on the cap to see where the numbers fall. We also have to look at free agency in 2021. We have to look at the short-term future and the long-term future. “This is where we really have to buckle down and make an assessment of what bubble basketball was against what the outside-the-bubble basketball was. This is our time. You support as much as you want during the bubble, during the playoffs. But now is the time to work.
So the Lakers knew that when it was their turn to face Denver, there would be no letting up no matter what the scoreboard said. Game 2 is Sunday night. The Lakers know the job is far from over. “No lead is safe with this team, in the game or in the series,” Lakers star Anthony Davis said. “They have proven that they are a second-half team, where they come out and just destroy teams in the second half and prove that even if they are down a series, they are a team that’s going to be resilient and keep fighting no matter what the score is, what the situation is. “When we have a lead, we have to lock in even more.”
Jokic is the only center to have more than 37% of his team’s assists, which he’s done each of the past two seasons. The other players cited as the best passing centers don’t come close. Chamberlain famously racked up big assist numbers for two seasons, but that was partially because he averaged nearly 47 minutes per game. On a per-minute basis, he can’t touch Jokic. Nor can Walton, whose best season by this measure (29% assist share in 1977-78, when he was named MVP) ranks comfortably outside the top 10. The same goes for Sabonis, whose best season (25% assist share in 2002-03, his final NBA campaign at age 38) doesn’t crack the top 50.
Murray has never publicly commented on what Porter had to say that night, but his answer Saturday suggested he’d seen a change in Porter’s approach. “I just think his patience right now,” Murray said. “He might not touch it every single time on the court, but when he gets a good look, we know he’s gonna put it up and most likely make it. His rebounding is incredible. He’s got a really good nose for the ball. Shot blocking’s there. So, all his instincts are there. … I think he’s going to be a big factor in this series against the Lakers.”
September 20, 2020 | 12:22 pm EDT Update
So, I asked, how did Lakers coach Frank Vogel see it after he had watched the film? “We were definitely the aggressors in the game, and the box score I have right here has us with 28 (fouls),” Vogel said. “We got called for 28 fouls. They got called for 26.” It was a savvy stance to take, albeit oversimplified. So as Vogel left his media session to rejoin his team, I admitted to him that I hadn’t noticed that the final fouls tally was in the Nuggets’ favor. “I do my research,” he said with a grin.
When Orange County Register Lakers beat writer Kyle Goon asked Vogel about James’ shot selection this season, it was refreshing to hear a candid and fascinating response from the Lakers coach rather than something more political. James, whose midrange jumper has been so effective for so many years now, has focused more on shots at the rim and beyond the arc this season, in part because of the message being sent by the coaching staff. “It is definitely a coaching point,” Vogel said. “You know, we want to have an analytics-based shot selection mindset with our team. … It’s the free throw No. 1; layup dunk No. 2; corner 3, No. 3; arc 3, No. 4, and midrange is the fifth priority shot we could have. But I will not ever tell my team not to take midrange shots if they are open shots. The No. 1 analytic for me is ‘Are you open?’ or ‘Are you guarded?’ That applies to shots at the rim, applies to 3-point line and applies to midrange. I’ll take an open shot over any zone that you can put up the shot from, and we want to work for open shots.”
“We’re not trying to intimidate anyone,” said Rondo, who had seven points, nine assists and a plus-13 in nearly 22 minutes. “We’re just playing basketball. With the guys we have — Dwight (and his) physical ability, he’s just playing the game. No one’s out there trying to bully people. We’re playing to our strengths. “I’ve been telling (Howard) the last two weeks (that) he’s going to be our X-factor in the series. I’m very happy that he got an opportunity to come out and play and display his talent, and show how much we need him. Like I said, I told him in the Houston series, things don’t go his way sometimes but in a championship run you need all 15 guys, and that’s what we displayed (in Game 1). Coach being able to go deep in the bench, and use guys that we haven’t used last series, so it’s a testament to the management, the way we’re able to be flexible — go small, go big, and (in Game 1) Dwight Howard, especially, was great for us.”
“This has been something I’ve never dealt with. There’s a lot going on for me individually, (and) for my family. And then the rehab, just with (the coronavirus in society) and the bubble and trying to do the best that I can to not have to quarantine for many days coming back here and having to quarantine — basically taking five days off from treatment and rehab and then trying to get myself ready to play in the Eastern Conference Finals, that’s something that’s a daunting task for sure. So for me … I’ve tried to do the best I can each day with it, and not put pressure on myself and just try to help us win basketball games, honestly.”
“To be honest, I didn’t get much sleep the last 48 hours,” Brown, who clashed with Smart in the passionate locker room scene, said when asked about the recovery process for their team. “I was so antsy to get back and play basketball. I don’t think the last two games exemplify what this team is about. So, I couldn’t wait to come out and be the best version of myself and try to add to a win. And I’m glad to be a part of this team and this organization and I’m proud of how we responded. … At the end of the day, we’re a family. We represent this organization. We represent each other and we won’t ever let anything come in between that. We’ve got a tremendous opportunity and we understand that and nothing’s going to stop us from trying to maximize that.”
Back in February, Us Weekly published a story about how Vanessa had been leaning on her mother, Sofia Laine, as she grieved the loss of Kobe and hers and Kobe’s 13-year-old daughter Giannia. Laine had moved in with Vanessa at one point, but she now says her daughter has kicked her out of the Bryant home. Laine sat down for an interview with Univision that is set to air in its entirety on Monday. A preview clip, which is only in Spanish, was shared on social media. According to Erika Marie of Hot New Hip Hop, a teary-eyed Laine claims in the interview that her daughter has kicked her out of the Bryant home and demanded that she return a car Vanessa had given to her.