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New Orleans Pelicans’ CJ McCollum enters health, safety protools

Orlando Magic v New Orleans Pelicans

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - MARCH 09: CJ McCollum #3 of the New Orleans Pelicans shoots against Gary Harris #14 of the Orlando Magic during the second half at the Smoothie King Center on March 09, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

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The Pelicans are already without Brandon Ingram for at least a week due to a “mild” strained right hamstring.

Now they will be without CJ McCollum for much of that same time as the Pelicans’ guard has entered league COVID Health and Safety protocols, the team announced Thursday.

McCollum has averaged 27.1 points and 6.7 assists a game for the Pelicans since coming over in a blockbuster trade, plus he is shooting 39.8% from 3.

New Orleans has jumped up into the play-in in the West, holding the No. 10 seed, 1.5 games ahead of Portland (a team that is tanking and will not make up ground on the Pelicans). The Spurs, the bigger threat to pass the Pelicans, are two games back with 16 to play.

Whether New Orleans can hold on to the No. 10 seed may come down to how quickly McCollum and Ingram can get back on the court.