NBA Rumor: CJ McCollum Injury

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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.”

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

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.”

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.”
2 years ago via ESPN

“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.”
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Clearly, it is not money that motivates him. “I think it’s just who I am. I’m always my toughest critic. I always just push myself to be better than what I was before. It’s kind of like I’m just competing against myself in a way. I don’t have that enemy or guy around the league that I look up to and I want to be better than. Like, ‘oh, his numbers…’ I don’t have that,” he said. “I kind of go up against myself on a nightly basis, on a yearly basis. How can I be better than what I was before? What do I need to improve on? I have just kind of always had that since I was younger. That’s always kind of stuck with me.”
There are also Beal’s free throw numbers. He’s averaging career-high attempts (8.2/g) and shooting a career-best percentage (90.2%). Just three years ago, Beal was averaging 4.5 attempts and shooting 79.1 percent. “My goal coming into this year was to be 90 [percent],” Beal said. “I tell myself every time I step up to the line, I say 90. I just say 90 to myself. I’m shooting with confidence, stepping up and then knocking them down. They’re free points.”
Coaches in the East voted on the rest of the roster. In later years, the league would give coaches the authority to fill out the roster as they saw fit, but in those days, they were still obligated to meet positional needs. Jamaal Magloire, who was averaging a double-double with New Orleans, made the one All-Star team of his career. Same for Metta Sandiford Artest (then Ron Artest) and Milwaukee guard Michael Redd. “Jamaal Magloire is an All-Star. LeBron James is not,” Hall of Fame basketball writer Marc Stein opined in a column for ESPN.com. “Nah, there’s nothing wrong with the rules the NBA uses for voting in its All-Star reserves.”