Carmelo Anthony has the support of his Portland Trail Blazers teammate CJ McCollum.
Currently averaging 15.2 points and 6.6 assists per contest, Melo signed with the 25-32 Blazers after sitting out from basketball for a year. “[Melo] has had a good impact on the Blazers,” McCollum told We Are Regal Radio’s Joshua M. Hicks in a one on one interview.
“Another veteran guy, obviously, who has helped us with his scoring but more so his presence in the locker room. Being able to be around the young guys and kind of help us; his storytelling and become our friends.”
The Blazers have dealt with significant injuries during the season. Damian Lillard has sat out at points during the season and so has their big man, Jusuf Nurkic who broke his leg last season against the Brooklyn Nets.
For those keeping score at home: Nurkic is on the mend and is nearing an NBA return this season.
In Nurkic’s absence however, the Blazers have gotten continuity from their big man, Hassan Whiteside who is having a career year. Whiteside is averaging 15.8 points, 14 rebounds and is averaging 3.1 blocks per contest.
No surprise there. Before the season, Damian Lillard predicted that Whiteside would be a beast on the basketball court. “I think he’s dealt with some injuries, has had a few bumps in the road the past years in Miami,” Lillard told me this summer.
“Right now it’s a time that we need him to be our center, Nurk is going to be out for a while. He [Whiteside] does something that we need, which is to protect the rim. He’s also a lob threat. He’s an athletic big that can run the floor.”
Currently sitting in ninth place in the NBA’s Western Conference, the Blazers are without Lillard who could miss 3-4 more games with a groin injury. C.J. McCollum tells Joshua M. Hicks that the Blazers have to keep grinding to get within the top eight teams in the Western Conference. “We’re all going to have to step up with Dame potentially being out,” McCollum said.
“Hopefully he can get back as soon as possible. We’re competing for the No. 8 spot in the West and we are going to have our hands full.”
The Blazers could use some more scoring power. Jamal Crawford is available.
Crawford has gotten interest from the Toronto Raptors and the Milwaukee Bucks.
J Crossover to Portland?
“[The decision] is above my paygrade but I’m always down for guys like him being able to come back, especially in a situation like Portland,” McCollum told Hicks.
“I like Jamal. He absolutely deserves to be back in the league and should’ve been in the league to start the season,” McCollum stated. “I’m a big fan of him. I love his game. I feel like it is a disservice that he is not playing right now.”