The Blazers are currently holding on to the fourth spot in the Western Conference playoff race, two games ahead of the Jazz and just a half-game behind the Rockets in third.
Portland is looking to lock in homecourt advantage in the first round, but more importantly for their chances in gaining redemption for last year’s sweep at the hands of the Pelicans, they’re hoping star guard C.J. McCollum can return from his knee injury in time for the postseason. McCollum went down on March 16 against the Spurs with a knee injury that, luckily, wasn’t as severe as it originally looked.
The Blazers have done well without him, but they’ll certainly want to be at full strength when the playoffs arrive in just over a week. Whether McCollum will be back or not remains to be seen, but on the broadcast for Wednesday night’s game against the Grizzlies, McCollum offered a status update on his rehab and is encouraged by his progress.
There’s still no timetable for McCollum and rehab is always an inexact science as to how each person’s body will react and heal, but that he’s back on the court doing some 3-on-3 work is encouraging. The good news for Portland is they’ve managed to go 8-2 over their last 10, despite McCollum’s absence for most of that run, so if they do have to start a series without him they will have confidence in their ability to compete and win.