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#pounditFriday, December 4, 2020

CJ McCollum doesn’t think Stephen Curry can guard him

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Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum doesn’t let anything stand in his way, not even a unanimous MVP.

Hosting an impromptu Q&A on Twitter Tuesday night, McCollum was asked if he thinks Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry can guard him. McCollum’s answer was brief and blunt.

The reigning NBA Most Improved Player doesn’t seem to be just blowing smoke either. Though he has improved over the years, Curry has never had the strongest track record as a one-on-one defender. Even if he finished sixth amongst point guards in defensive real plus-minus last season (per ESPN), Curry is aided by the lengthy, versatile support provided by his teammates from within the Golden State defensive structure. There, he is often afforded the luxury of being hidden on the other team’s weakest offensive threat. Curry can definitely make a play on the ball every now and then with his quick hands and strong anticipatory instincts. But his weaknesses on the defensive end were really exposed in this year’s NBA Finals when the Cavaliers found a great deal of success by relentlessly attacking him on switches.

For McCollum’s part, he is quickly developing a reputation as one of the Association’s better guards at breaking down a defender with his handle and creating separation for a shot off the dribble. McCollum’s assertion about himself and Curry passes the eye test with flying colors as well.

The confidence of McCollum, who has already taken umbridge to the Warriors in the past, certainly isn’t lacking, and that will be important for the Blazers if they hope to remain competitive in the Darwinistic Western Conference.

Image Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

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