April 19, 2024

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Free For All Food

CJ McCollum finished Raptors with a “baby food” move in Trail Blazers win

CJ McCollum finished Raptors with a “baby food” move in Trail Blazers win originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

A small-ball lineup for the Trail Blazers is a recipe for clutch shooting. And for opposing teams, it’s a deadly combination.

Whether it was Damian Lillard or Carmelo Anthony from deep, the Trail Blazers proved once again they have shooters who can come up big down the stretch.

The Raptors were faced with that reality in the fourth quarter on Monday night’s game just how lethal Portlands clutch shooters can be.

It was also fitting for CJ McCollum to be the one to finish off the game with a go-ahead mid-range jumper after the way he has started the season averaging 27.9 points a night.

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And if it wasnt clear who Portlands center was at certain points in the game during Mondays 112-111 come from behind victory over Toronto, its because as Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts said, there really wasnt one, at times.  

While being forced to experiment with different lineups once starting center Jusuf Nurkic left the game with a left quad contusion, Portland went with the smaller lineup more often than not.

And with that, the Blazers once again saw McCollum rise up to the occasion. 

The eighth-year guard feasted from three all night and then he made dinner plans with a mid-range jumper to end the game.

Ive always figured out ways to eat and I think thats what best describes me. Sharks just go hunt. They dont worry about anything, McCollum said following the win.

But how do sharks feel about baby food?

Wait No, this is a different comparison.

McCollum described how he was able to shake Fred VanVleet, saying, I wanted to get him moving in each direction. VanVleets a great defender, but hes smaller. So youve got to move the smaller defender before you move to spots.

So now can we add baby food move McCollum to the list of nicknames for 3J McCollum.

Well see if that catches on.

But speaking of 3J, some may wonder why McCollum didnt take a dagger three instead of a 17-foot pull-up, especially the way he’s shooting the rock from behind the arc this year?

Easy — McCollum knows where he is most comfortable.

In Mondays win, McCollum finished with 30 points and went 5-of-11 from three.

The Blazers big three of shooters undoubtedly came up big, but a lot of credit also needs to be given to Robert Covington and his defense on the final possession to stop Pascal Siakam from finishing with the game-winner.  

McCollum recognized that.

He got a big stop down the stretch. He didnt want to switch. He didnt want no help. He wanted to take on that responsibility, McCollum said of RoCos defensive stop.”

Who else believes Covington could also be considered a shark for wanting to stop opponents from having baby food moments?

Too much? 

Okay, either way, the Trail Blazers now improve to 6-4 and are riding a three-game winning streak thanks to their sharks and shooters. 

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