Portland Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum is determined to improve his point guard skills now that his role is expected to increase this year. McCollum is entering his third year with the Blazers, where he’s mainly been a shooting guard off the bench. Expect McCollum to be asked to spell Damian Lillard at the point guard position this season.
Blazers assistant coach Jay Triano, the head coach for the Canadian men’s basketball team, provided McCollum with a unique opportunity this offseason. McCollum traveled to Toronto, where his coach was holding camp for the Canadian team, and spent a few days on the court with Steve Nash, who's the General Manager for the Canadian team.
Mike Richman from The Oregonian writes about what McCollum picked up from the two-time NBA MVP:
- “’Working with Steve Nash helped me slow down the game some more, helped me understand pick and rolls and how point guards think,’ McCollum said. ‘Having the ability to manipulate guys with your eyes, use you body to hold guys off and then just make the proper reads.’ … ‘Working with him and seeing how he approaches a ball screen, how he approaches his defender in transition,’ McCollum said of what he gleaned from the future Hall of Famer. ‘Just simplifying the game.’ McCollum isn't worried about initiating sets as a point guard in Blazer coach Terry Stotts' flow offense. He says the challenge is more about orchestrating and directing his teammates once the initial action breaks down."