Name: CJ McCollum
Team: Portland Trail Blazers
2016-17 Regular Season Traditional Stats: 23.0 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 3.6 APG, 0.9 SPG, 48 FG%, 42.1 3PT%, 91.2 FT%
2016-17 Regular Season Advanced Stats: 19.9 PER, 58.5 TS%, 7.6 WS, 3.2 OBPM, -2.3 DBPM, 2.1 VORP
If you like players that can go from 0 points to 50 real quick, then CJ McCollum is your guy. C.J. is a savant when it comes to scoring the basketball, one made shot and the microwave is turned on. Fresh off his career high scoring wise, McCollum shows no signs of stopping his scoring barrages. He isn’t an inefficient scorer by any means either, as McCollum shot 48% from the field, 42.1% from three, and 92.1% from the FT line.
When he is feeling it, there’s no one stopping him from getting any bucket he wants. Even when an elite defender is on him, McCollum still finds a way to score the ball, often frustrating even the best of defenders. A prime example of that was Portland’s game 1 matchup against the Warriors in the 2017 playoffs. McCollum started the first half on fire, posting 27 points just after two-quarters of play. The Warriors threw Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala, two world-class defenders, at him and it didn’t matter. CJ was scoring the way he wanted to, no matter who was in front of him. He finished that game with 41 points, extremely impressive considering it was against an elite defensive team like the Warriors.
The offense clearly isn’t his flaw in the league, it’s the other side of the ball that could be holding him back from being ranked even higher on the top 50 list. While he is an offensive machine, his defense could definitely be better. He struggles with off-ball defense like many others, in which he doesn’t consistently follow his man on defense. Consistency is key for CJ McCollum’s defense and if/when he clears that up, the sky is the limit for the Lehigh product.
A couple seasons ago, CJ McCollum was barely getting any playing time, averaging around 14.5 minutes per game in his first two years. However, once he was given the opportunity to show what he can do, he never looked back and has become one of the most dangerous scorers in today’s NBA.