CJ McCollum will return to the starting lineup for the Portland Trail Blazers in their matchup with the New Orleans Pelicans Tuesday night, but the shooting guard is expected to be on a minutes restriction.
Portland's Terry Stotts said C.J. McCollum will play "below his normal minutes" in his return from injury vs. #Pelicans, but Stotts did not give a specific number as a limit. He last played Jan. 16. McCollum has averaged 33.8 minutes this season— Jim Eichenhofer (@Jim_Eichenhofer) March 17, 2021
However, the Pelicans aim to not sleep on the potential impact McCollum could have on tonight’s contest.
“You prepare for him to prepare what he’s always brought to the game,” Van Gundy said to pregame media. “This guy is a big-time scorer, both on and off the ball. Shoots the ball with great range. He and Lillard both shooting over 11 threes a game this year. Yeah, this is a high, high, high-powered backcourt, maybe the best in the league — probably the best in the league.”
One other solid item of note from this media session was Van Gundy accoladed assistant coach Casey Hill for playing a role in the Pelicans registering a season-high 38 assists in Sunday’s win over the Clippers.
“Yeah, it was the best we’ve done all year of moving without the ball,” Van Gundy said. “Casey Hill had taken them through film the day of the game, pointing out some things where cuts could be open. Our guys did a fantastic job in that game.”
Who: New Orleans Pelicans (17-22) at Portland Trail Blazers (22-16)
When: March 16, 9:00 p.m. Central
Where to watch: FSNOLA, TNT
Where to listen: ESPN 100.3 FM