C.J. McCollum and the Portland Trail Blazers are off to a solid start this season, but a recent skid has dropped them to 15-13 on the year and ninth in the West, a half game behind the Dallas Mavericks and the Sacramento Kings.
Just 5.5 games separate the top team in the conference from the team in 14th, as this season’s playoff race appears poised to somehow be even more competitive and crazy than last year. The Blazers know what it takes to fight their way through a competitive West after getting the three-seed a year ago, but after a hot start, a few lengthy road trips have led to them slipping just enough to find themselves on the outside looking in on the postseason.
It’s early, though, and to an extent, it just comes down to the Blazers having to play better more consistently, especially on the road. McCollum spoke with Dime recently about the start to the season, everyone adjusting to the new freedom of movement rules, and his partnership with American Express to support the Boys and Girls Clubs. Additionally, as always happens when I’m put in a situation to talk with a fellow fan of Cleveland’s NFL team, we had to talk about Baker Mayfield and the red-hot Browns.