Jul 20

Thorpe: 'You can Tell (McCollum) Loves Playing Basketball'

By caseyholdahl's Kevin Arnovitz, David Thorpe and Amin Elhassan broke down the summer league performances of the 2013 first-round picks, a group that includes Portland guard CJ McCollum, for a segment on TrueHoop TV. Their thoughts on McCollum, which were the most positives of any of the players they reviewed, are as follows ...
David Thorpe: "I thought he had good command. I liked his charisma without being really ostentatious about it. You could tell he loves playing basketball. You want your point guard to play that way -- Brandon Jennings was really fun to play with a few years ago. Everyone wants to be on that guy's team. CJ doesn't have that kind of quickness, that kind of passing skill, but he's fun to be on that team with, and I think that projects well going forward next to the rookie of the year."

Amin Elhassan: "As a third guard for Portland is what he'd be. You've got Wes Matthews and Damian Lillard and he'd be the third guard coming in. He'd fit that role perfectly. He's asked to do things (at summer league) and carry an offense and move an offense as a point guard, which I don't think that is really in his wheelhouse. I think he's more of a scoring guard who can make plays."
And then there's Danny Nowell of and Portland Roundball Society summing up McCollum's summer league performance with a bit more skepticism ...
We didn't learn all that much about McCollum. His credentials as a scoring talent remain unquestioned, but the questions about his other talents remain unanswered. In sum, McCollum was probably very much what the Blazers expected, and while fans have every reason to be excited, they should also be prepared for a rookie season that exposes a few current weaknesses.
Nowell synopsis of McCollum's play in Las Vegas was actually much closer to McCollum's own self-evaluation than Thorpe's or Elhassan's.


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