When CJ McCollum returns to face the Portland Trail Blazers, the New Orleans Pelicans will be hoping to keep up their winning ways.
They are hoping that CJ McCollum’s comeback will help the New Orleans Pelicans maintain their winning streak against the Portland Trail Blazers (32-43, 9th Western Conference) (27-48, 12 th ). McCollum finished his career in Portland as the team’s fifth-leading scorer. Third in three-pointers made and tenth in assists are two of his most impressive statistics. It will be an emotional game for him, having spent the first nine years of his career in the Pacific Northwest, where he was highly active both on and off the court.
Portland Trail Blazers vs. New Orleans Pelicans
At 9:00 p.m. CT on March 30, 2022,
Where: Portland, Oregon, Moda Center
Bally Sports NO, ESPN 100.3FM New Orleans are the best places to catch the action.
CJ McCollum, Brandon Ingram, Herb Jones, Jaxson Hayes, and Jonas Valanciunas make up the New Orleans Pelicans.
Keon Johnson, Brandon Williams, Drew Eubanks, CJ Elleby, and Elijah Hughes make up the Portland Trail Blazers.
McCollum’s teammates need to step up to help him secure a victory and eliminate the Trail Blazers from postseason consideration for good. Josh Hart, a former Pelican, is unlikely to wear the uniform. With six games remaining, the Trail Blazers trail the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers by four games. Against the Oklahoma City Thunder last night, Portland only used an eight-man bench.
As a result, the New Orleans Saints are expected to coast to victory. NBA Team Stats show that New Orleans does pretty about everything better than Portland, especially since CJ McCollum relocated to the Crescent City. They will have the six best players in the game.
“I think that I’m just what they’ve needed and they’re just what I’ve needed, especially at this juncture in my life,” McCollum said of the trade to New Orleans.
A near full-strength Pelicans team will face a depleted Portland lineup. Brandon Ingram is set to return to the starting lineup for CJ McCollum. Jonas Valancuinas, Herb Jones, and Jaxson Hayes have been running opposing teams off the court with those two superstars. With a 121.6 offensive rating and a 114.6 defensive rating, that five is capable of keeping pace with any NBA Finals team.
He is third in rebounds and sixth in rebounds per game, although only NBA MVP Nikola Jokic has more double-double games (61). It appears that Hayes has found his place supporting Valancuinas in the paint (9 points, 4.4 rebounds per game). Herb Jones, a second-round draught pick, leads the NBA in thefts. It’s possible that Jose Alvarado and Devonte’ Graham will be able to extend leads on the bench.
As they begin a four-game road trip, Willie Green’s club is only one game ahead of the Spurs and Lakers. A home play-in game is within reach if they can win three games on the road. They have two remaining home games in the regular season. When it comes to coaching against a team lead by McCollum, no one, including Portland’s Chauncy Billups, is looking forward to doing it.
I think everyone will like having CJ back in town, Billups predicted. “He’s going to be blown away by the support he receives from our teammates and the supporters. I’m pleased to see him, as it’s long overdue. As you might imagine, I’m not thrilled about having to devise a strategy for him.”