The Chicago Bulls might have suffered their worst loss yet in their trip to the Moda Center last night. They gave up 43 points in the first quarter in what ended up being a 124-108 victory for the Portland Trail Blazers. The game was even less close than what the score suggested, as the 4th quarter saw both teams empty their benches. This was really bad.
CJ McCollum put up 50 points in 3 quarters, shooting 72% from the field (18-25) which included 6 three-pointers. It was surely a night to remember for the former Lehigh guard.
This play was a classic case of good defense by David Nwaba but better offense by McCollum.
After receiving a pass on the left wing from Damian Lillard, McCollum sizes up Nwaba and begins to plot on how to attack the Chicago defense. He first takes a jab step to his right, then a swing through to his right before quickly shifting and driving to his left. With Robin Lopez being dragged out of the paint due to Portland’s bigs camping out near the three-point line, it was a clear path to the basket for McCollum. But it was quickly closed off with Denzel Valentine coming over from the other side for help defense along with Lopez crashing down. With Nwaba right on his hip, there weren’t many options for McCollum other than to put up a shot. Knowing this, McCollum smartly jumped sideways into Nwaba. This was a smart move by the guard given any contact with him and Nwaba would likely end up in a shooting foul call. With Nwaba backing off, McCollum now has a free release to shoot a jump shot. To his credit, this was a very tough shot and he did a good job staying in the air long enough to get off a clean look. It was his 24th point of the quarter as the ball pinged off the glass and into the net.
Below was another play where McCollum just showed that it was his night for the taking.
CJ McCollum with 26 points in the first quarter pic.twitter.com/aPwuyRybUO— ⓂarcusD (@_MarcusD2_) February 1, 2018
After bringing the ball up court in semi transition and again was guarded by Nwaba. However, this basket didn’t take as long as the other one did. Blazers big man Zach Collins came and tried to set a screen for McCollum. But he didn’t take it. Instead, he hesitated as if he was going to his right and quickly crossed over to his left. The move caught Nwaba off guard, who was still anticipating a drive to the right. With an ample amount of time and space, McCollum was able to rise up for an easy jumper with ease.
Arcidiacano with some tough defense
You would have to claw pretty deep into this game to find any positives.