Come on, Milwaukee, what are you doing?
A rookie? You’re sending a rookie out to defend CJ McCollum while he’s on the way to a 40-point night?
What is that?
“Very disrespectful,” McCollum said when it was over. “It’s very disrespectful.”
Maybe they didn’t have anyone else for the task?
“They should have put Pat (Connaughton) in,” he said.
McCollum owned the Bucks Tuesday night in Portland’s impressive 118-103 win in Moda Center.
He made 17 of his 26 shots from the floor, including half of his 10 three-point shots, had five rebounds, six assists and four steals.
And oh yes, he took that rookie, Donte DiVincenzo, and put him on every sports highlight show in the country Wednesday morning – sending him flat on the floor with another of his change-of-pace, killer crossovers.
👀 Bless 'em, CJ. Then break 'em. 👀 pic.twitter.com/dY0YCRrrlb— NBC Sports Northwest (@NBCSNorthwest) November 7, 2018
“A nice feeling,” McCollum said, when asked how it feels to put someone to the ground like that. “But being able to make the shot after putting someone down is the toughest part. You have to make the shot.”
McCollum hadn’t gotten off to a great shooting start to the season but anyone who has watched him over the years knows the last thing to worry about is his shooting.
He’s a shooter. It’s who he is and what he does. And when the Trail Blazers needed him Tuesday he delivered.
Portland shot 52.7 percent overall as a team and handed Milwaukee just its second loss in 10 games. Evan Turner backed up McCollum with 16 points, 11 rebounds and four assists.
The Blazer bench looked a little shaky at the onset of the fourth quarter and it appeared the Bucks were going to make a run at Portland. They did get an 11-point lead sliced to five before the Blazers restored order.
“I think we were on an 8-0 run or a 10-0 run to start the fourth quarter,” said Bucks Coach Mike Budenholzer. “We just couldn’t get to that next layer. Turner hit some shots, I don’t remember when (Jake) Layman hit his at the (shot-clock) buzzer and (Meyers) Leonard hit that three in the high quadrant, so all of those just felt like that we were about to turn the corner.
“Turner’s kind of the steadying force with that group, so whether it was him or those other guys, credit to them – they kinda held it down.”
Portland Coach Terry Stotts liked what he saw.
“A really good win against a really good team,” he said. “I’m really proud of the way we played.”
“It was big. We needed it,” he said. “They’re a very good team, playing extremely well.”
McCollum doesn’t fret much when he’s not making shots. He just goes to work – both in the gym and the video room. He studies and he sweats.
“I think I just played a complete game,” he said. “I think that was the biggest thing for me. Just get to my spots, live with the results and just try to make the right passes.”
And along the way, maybe earn a little more respect.