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Can C.J. McCollum Save The Trail Blazers Season?

Ben Stinar and Haley Jordan sat down to talk about the Portland Trail Blazers in the latest episode of Stinar For 3.

The Portland Trail Blazers have had a tough season, because they currently have a 20-26 record in 46 games played, and are currently the tenth seed in the Western Conference.  

If the playoffs ended right now, they would be the final spot in the play-in tournament, and have to win two straight games in order to make the playoffs.  

In 2019, they made the Western Conference Finals (and got swept by the Golden State Warriors) and since then they have lost in the first round of the playoffs in each of the last two seasons.  

The problem is that they have been going backwards. 

Not to mention they have also had injuries this season to their top players Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. 

Lillard is currently out, and has missed 17 games already this season. 

As for McCollum, he just returned, but has missed 19 games this season. 

Now that he is back, the question is can McCollum keep the Trail Blazers competitive and in the playoff picture? 

He's 30-years-old and is averaging 20.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. 

On Sunday against the Raptors, he played 38 minutes (so he's clearly back to being healthy) and scored 19 points, grabbed ten rebounds and dished out six assists. 

He is one of the best players in the NBA, but is not a superstar. 

Now, he will have a chance to carry the team with Lillard still out. 

There is very little chance that they could actually make a run in the playoffs even if Lillard returns, so the franchise has to decide if it wants to fight to get into the playoffs or enter into a full rebuilding mode for the rest of the season to get a top draft pick this summer.