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CJ McCollum Has Become One Of NBA's Best Midrange Shooters

Jan 30, 2016 4:47 PM

CJ McCollum has become one of the NBA's best midrange shooters.

"It's been a part of my game for life. It's tougher to finish in the lane so you've got to find different areas to score efficiently and the mid-range contested shot is a shot a lot of teams will live with," McCollum says. "And it's a shot I'm willing to live with as well just because I've gotten so many shots at it and I'm comfortable with it."

McCollum is shooting 46.6 percent on mid-range shots season, according to NBA.com. He's attempted the 12th most mid-range shots in the league and has the highest field goal percentage of anyone in the NBA who has taken at least 250 such shots. 

Mike Richman/Oregonian

Tags: C.J. McCollum, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Olshey: Our Player Development Allows Us To 'Optimize Asset Value' Of Players

Jan 13, 2016 2:07 PM

After LaMarcus Aldridge left for the San Antonio Spurs in free agency, the Portland Trail Blazers used their cap space on several younger free agents who they perceived as still possessing upside.

A big part of how the Blazers have been successful under Neil Olshey and Terry Stotts has been player development.

"When LaMarcus made his decision, we shifted gears as quickly as possible," said Olshey. "And that's how we were able to build the infrastructure of even adding more younger guys around the same career arc as Damian Lillard. A lot of those guys have out-produced their contract, a lot of them are working to still do that. The confidence we have in our coaches, our system, our culture will put them in a position to maybe be more successful than they were in their previous stops is what will help us eventually optimize their asset value, whether it's with us or someone else."

Ed Davis and Al-Farouq Aminu were signed in free agency, while the Blazers traded for Noah Vonleh, Maurice Harkless, Gerald Henderson and Mason Plumlee.

Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports

Tags: Portland Trail Blazers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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C.J. McCollum Unable To Play In Wednesday's Game Due To Clerical Error

Jan 7, 2016 1:04 AM

C.J. McCollum was unable to play in Wednesday's game for the Portland Trail Blazers against the Los Angeles Clippers due to a clerical error.

The Blazers accidentally submitted a roster with McCollum on the inactive list instead of teammate Luis Montero, whose name appears next to McCollum's alphabetically on the sheet teams must submit before the game.

Had the Blazers attempted to play McCollum, they would have been assessed a technical foul and he would not have been allowed to play. In 2007, the then-Charlotte Bobcats were penalized for playing Jeff McInnis, who was ineligible. The same happened to the Washington Wizards in 2010, when they played Roger Mason.

Kevin Pelton/ESPN

Tags: Portland Trail Blazers, NBA

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Damian Lillard Aggravates Plantar Fasciitis Injury

Dec 20, 2015 7:19 PM

Damian Lillard limped around in noticeable pain with a bout of plantar fasciitis in his left heel after Sunday's game.

Lillard was already dealing with the issue and it was aggravated during the third quarter.

"I took off to get in the lane one time and it just got a little tight, a little sore," Lillard said.

Lillard downplayed the ailment and he finished the game.

"You see I finished the game," said Lillard. "I'm not really worried about it."

Joe Freeman/Oregonian

Tags: Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA, NBA Injury

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Damian Lillard: Blazers Have To Be A Team That Isn't Fun To Play Against

Dec 15, 2015 12:34 PM

Damian Lillard acknowledged that he and CJ McCollum have to improve at facilitating for their teammates.

Lillard credited McCollum for giving the Portland Trail Blazers energy down the stretch during their win on Monday over the Pelicans.

"I think for me and him, that's something that we got to do a lot of this year, make guys better and put guys in a position to be successful," Lillard said.

"We have to be a team that isn't fun to play against," Lillard said. "We have to take pride in that."

Malika Andrews/AP

Tags: Portland Trail Blazers, NBA

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Adam Silver Appreciates Blazers 'Not Bottoming-Out' With Rebuild

Dec 2, 2015 4:03 PM

Adam Silver attended the Portland Trail Blazers' game on Tuesday against the Dallas Mavericks.

Neil Olshey and the Blazers are rebuilding after losing LaMarcus Aldridge to the San Antonio Spurs in the offseason.

Silver was asked if he was surprised by all of the changes the Blazers made.

"I don't know if I was surprised," said Silver. "Paul Allen's been in this league a while now. He knows you have to go through a rebuilding process. At the same time, I appreciate that they're rebuilding in a way where they're not bottoming-out in any way. Fans still want to see competitive teams on the floor, but it is necessary to rebuild at certain times to sort of assess where you are. I think they're doing a good job."

Mike Richman/Oregonian

Tags: Portland Trail Blazers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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CJ McCollum Trying To Take Next Step With Improved Handle

Nov 24, 2015 6:40 PM

CJ McCollum's father challenged him in the offseason to improve his ballhandling.

McCollum's father was struck in the playoffs by how Kyrie Irving could get anywhere he wanted on the floor due to his handle.

"I always could (dribble). It was more about synchronizing it all together," McCollum says. "Finding out what dribble moves I could use to kind of be efficient and get to a spot. But I've always been able to dribble I just think I've gotten tighter with it and have a better sense of control, command."

McCollum's ability with his handle is clear in one-on-one situations.

"If you can handle the ball in this league, there's room for you," McCollum said. "Because everybody can't dribble. Everybody doesn't possess the ability to break down a defender, the ability to get into the lane and draw help. Everybody can't do that."

McCollum works on his handle before every game.

Mike Richman/Oregonian

Tags: C.J. McCollum, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Pat Riley Asked LaMarcus Aldridge To Re-Sign With Blazers, Sign With Heat In 2016

Nov 11, 2015 6:54 PM

Pat Riley received a meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge last July during free agency, but the Miami Heat didn't have the necessary cap space to sign him.

Riley's wish was for Aldridge to sign a one-year deal with the Portland Trail Blazers and sign with the Heat in 2016.

Riley's words actually went a long way toward validating the San Antonio Spurs' case instead of the Phoenix Suns.

“He told me, ‘You’re a good player, but you can be great,’” Aldridge told Yahoo. “I’ve had good seasons on my own, but to win, you’ve got to have other big-time guys with you. When you have other guys who are willing to take that sacrifice with you – maybe you all go from averaging 23-24 points to 18-19 points – and you can all do it together.

“He was saying, ‘Hey, you might have to take a lesser role, but at the end of the day, you want to be known as a champion. Champions have to do different things.’ He brought up Chris Bosh, how he was averaging 21 in Toronto, and came to Miami, and people tried to say he wasn’t important. He told me, ‘We don’t win any of those championships rings without him,’ [and] that [Bosh] wouldn’t trade those rings for anything.

“Eventually, it becomes a road in your career, whether you have to decide whether you want to keep having these crazy stats, or do you want to win a championship?”

The Spurs soon closed the deal with Aldridge after the Riley meeting.

“Yeah, the things [Riley] said were definitely more positive for me coming to San Antonio,” Aldridge said.

Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports

Tags: LaMarcus Aldridge, Miami Heat, Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Thunder, Celtics, Grizzlies Finish Preseason Top-3 In Efficiency Differential

Oct 26, 2015 1:02 PM

The Oklahoma City Thunder led the NBA in efficiency differential during the preseason with a mark of +12.5.

During the 14-15 preseason, the Golden State Warriors had the league's best mark with +11.0, which became a first indicator of their jump as title contenders.

Here's the full rankings from the 15-16 preseason:

1. Thunder: 12.5
2. Celtics: 11.6
3. Grizzlies: 11.5
4. Wizards: 10.4
5. Hornets: 10.0
6. Pistons: 7.1
7. Raptors: 5.6
8. Pacers: 4.7
9. Knicks: 4.0
10. Suns: 3.9
11. Nuggets: 3.5
12. Kings: 3.3
13. Magic: 2.8
14. Blazers: 1.8
15. Jazz: 0.4
16. Heat: 0.0
17. Hawks: -0.7
18. Rockets: -0.7
19. Nets: -1.0
20. Warriors: -1.3
21. Spurs: -1.9
22. Lakers: -2.1
23. Bucks: -3.4
24. Bulls: -3.6
25. Pelicans: -3.6
26. Clippers: -4.2
27. Cavaliers: -6.5
28. 76ers: -8.6
29. Mavericks: -10.7
30. Wolves: -11.0

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia Sixers, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz, Washington Wizards, Oklahoma City Thunder, Brooklyn Nets, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Phil Pressey Claimed Off Waivers By Jazz

Oct 25, 2015 5:06 PM

The Utah Jazz have claimed Phil Pressey off waivers.

Pressey was waived before the start of the regular season by the Portland Trail Blazers.

Pressey spent the past two seasons with the Boston Celtics.

Shams Charania/Yahoo! Sports

Tags: Phil Pressey, Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Phil Pressey, Omari Johnson Waived By Blazers
Portland's roster now stands at 15.

RealGM Staff Report

LaMarcus Aldridge: Blazers Did Everything They Could
LaMarcus Aldridge didn't expect to leave the Blazers when he decided to play through a broken thumb and wait until after the season for surgery.

Chris Mannix/Sports Illustrated

Dunc'd On Pod: Portland Trail Blazers Season Preview With Erik Gundersen
On the LaMarcus Aldridge departure, a potentially underrated offense this year, who will emerge among the youngs in the wing and big rotations, and his grade for Neil Olshey.

RealGM Staff Report

Blazers Consulted Damian Lillard On Youth Movement Rebuild
Neil Olshey decided to rebuild the Blazers with a number of younger players to support Damian Lillard.

Paul Flannery/SB Nation

Blazers Name CJ McCollum Backup Point Guard
CJ McCollum played point guard for the first time in the NBA on Thursday in the Blazers' preseason game.

Jason Quick/Oregonian

Blazers Exercise 16-17 Options On CJ McCollum, Mason Plumlee, Noah Vonleh
The Blazers have exercised team options on guard CJ McCollum (fourth year), center Mason Plumlee (fourth year) and forward Noah Vonleh (third year).

RealGM Staff Report

Damian Lillard Spent Offseason Working On Handle Inspired By Curry
Damian Lillard was asked on media day how he's worked on expanding his individual game in the offseason.

David MacKay/Blazers Edge

Mike Miller Agrees To Buyout With Blazers
The Nuggets are expected to pursue Mike Miller once he clears waivers.

Shams Charania/Yahoo! Sports

Jim Moran Promoted By Blazers To Assistant Coach
Jim Moran joins a staff that includes fellow assistant coaches Jay Triano, David Vanterpool, Nate Tibbetts and Dale Osbourne.

RealGM Staff Report

Anthony Bennett Agrees To Buyout With Wolves
The Blazers are expected to pursue Anthony Bennett with the presence of Jay Triano a factor.

Shams Charania, Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports

Blazers Considering Logo Redesign
The Blazers' iconic pinwheel is described by Zach Lowe as "drowning in a black mass."

Zach Lowe/Grantland

Blazers' Offseason Was About Finding Players On Same Career Arc As Lillard
The Blazers have shifted this offseason to fully build around Damian Lillard following the departure of LaMarcus Aldridge.

Gary Washburn/Boston Globe

Blazers Pick Up 15-16 Option On Allen Crabbe
Allen Crabbe is expected to make more than $900,000 next season.

Jabari Young/CSNNW

Brendan Haywood Waived By Blazers
Brendan Haywood's contract was non-guaranteed.

RealGM Staff Report

Wesley Matthews 'Felt Disrespected' By Lack Of Interest From Blazers
The Blazers never made an offer to Wesley Matthews in free agency.

Jason Quick/Oregonian

Grizzlies, Thunder, Mavs Expected To Pursue Mike Miller
Mike Miller was traded by the Cavaliers to the Blazers and he'll be waived.

Marc Stein/ESPN

Cavs Trade Brendan Haywood, Mike Miller To Blazers
The Cavaliers will acquire traded player exceptions worth $10.5 million and $2.85 million.

Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports

Blazers Sign Phil Pressey
Phil Pressey spent the past two seasons with the Celtics.

RealGM Staff Report

Cliff Alexander Signs With Blazers
Cliff Alexander averaged 7.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 22.8 minutes a game.

Mike Richman/Oregonian

Cavs Likely To Settle For TPE In Exchange For Haywood's Contract
The Cavs used a trade exception they created last summer to trade for Timofey Mozgov during last season.

Brian Windhorst/ESPN

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