The Portland Trail Blazers earned a critical victory over a shorthanded Miami Heat squad on Thursday to start their east coast road trip the right way.
During the contest, CJ McCollum was red-hot, dropping 35 points and dishing out eight assists in the win. So too was Damian Lillard, who managed 22 points and hit some critical free throws down the stretch to earn Portland the victory.
The win was a big one for the Trail Blazers, and their performance against the Heat caught the eye of Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson. Additionally, Johnson appears to be a huge fan of the Norman Powell trade and thinks it will give the Blazers a chance to be a true contender.
Johnson was a five-time NBA champion and also won the NCAA Tournament during his college days. He knows a thing or two about winning, so the fact that he thinks Portland has "their best chance to win this year" should excite Blazers fans.
Johnson also knows about being an NBA MVP -- he won the award three times -- so him calling Lillard an MVP candidate carries weight as well.
It's easy to understand why Johnson is a fan of the Powell trade. The Trail Blazers already have two prolific scorers in Lillard and McCollum, and now they're adding someone who is averaging 19.6 points per game on 43.9 percent shooting from behind the arc to the fold.
That should only improve an offense that already ranks sixth in the NBA in offensive efficiency, according to Team Rankings, and give the Blazers a chance to outscore their competition on a nightly basis.
Soon enough, fans will see how Powell does in a Blazers uniform, but if Magic Johnson is high on the move and the team in general, that's a good sign.
If everything can come together for this Portland team, they could be in for a solid postseason run.