Jul 18

CJ McCollum Supplants Victor Oladipo at No. 2 On's Rookie Ladder

By caseyholdahl

After a 19-point, 2-assist, 2-rebound performance in Wednesday night's overtime victory against the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the Las Vegas Summer League tournament, Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum overtakes Orlando guard Victor Oladipo for the two spot on's Rookie Ladder.
C.J. McCollum continues his climb up the Ladder with another solid performance and could overtake Kelly Olynyk if he keeps it up. In Wednesday's win, the guard out of Lehigh had 19 points on 5-for-14 shooting, going 3-for-7 from beyond the arc. Through four games, he leads all rookies in scoring at 20.7 ppg and looks like he's ready to contribute teaming up with Damian Lillard in the Portland backcourt.
Check your rear-view, Olynyk.

It's a bit ironic to see McCollum move up to No. 2 on the Rookie Ladder after hearing his frank assessment of his own play after last night's victory.

"I'm playing OK. For rookie standards, it's decent," said McCollum. "I've got to shoot the ball a little bit better and take care of the ball more. This is my fourth game since January so I'm getting back into things, getting back into a rhythm and choosing when to pick my spots, when to get aggressive and when to sit back and let other guys take over. I would say I'm playing OK."

He had an even harsher opinion of his shooting at summer league, which he described as "awful." And while he might be a bit too hard on himself here, it's exactly what you want to hear from a rookie at this very early stage in his career.


  1. I think he's playing well despite being terribly miscast as a full-time PG. Don't get me wrong, now's the time to give him that game experience at PG, but that's not his game. He's a guy that can play a little PG off the bench for short stretches, but not as a full-time role. His ability to get open and create shots is great, and he can really shoot it. I think he'll be great next to Lillard or scoring off the bench for us - and a shot-creator is just what we needed.

    by Brett Fish on 7/18/2013 10:06 AM
  2. CJ's going to have to play a little more efficient to take the top spot away from Olynyk. He was 5-9 shooting last night before ending 5-14. But he makes them when it counts. It is also just Summer League where defenses are programmed to slow him down. I think he'll get a lot more clean looks when playing alongside LA, Dame, and Nic.

    by DHawes22 on 7/18/2013 12:28 PM
  3. One thing is for certain, he's years beyond Nolan Smith. Light years in fact.

    by commontongue on 7/18/2013 1:18 PM
  4. DHawes, I agree. I'll be interested to see how he does playing off the ball with Lillard and if he can get some quality looks without having to force them. I definitely don't want to see him regularly shooting under 40% from the field though... he'll need to work on that. Although his shot selection should change once he's playing as the 3rd option (at best) behind Aldridge and Lillard.

    by chris.barnes on 7/24/2013 11:30 AM
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