NBA

C.J. McCollum.

C.J. McCollum is making another strong case to finally earn All-Star recognition

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When this year's All-Stars are announced in the coming weeks, it's likely to feature a number of first-timers with the likes of Kristaps Porzingis, Joel Embiid and Karl-Anthony Towns making strong cases this season.

One name we probably won't see on the list for a first appearance is Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard C.J. McCollum.

It has nothing to do with his talent but purely his circumstances. He plays in the Western Conference where there is an abundance of quality at the guard position and he is often the one that's overlooked.

He's up against the likes of Stephen Curry, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, Klay Thompson and his own teammate Damian Lillard for a spot on the roster.

McCollum may not yet be in the class of some of those players but his consistent play again this season certainly merits All-Star recognition.

Stepping up

With Lillard missing several games through injury recently, the Blazers have run their offence through his backcourt partner in his absence and he hasn't disappointed.

Portland Trail Blazers v Brooklyn Nets

This week, Portland secured back-to-back wins against the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder with McCollum playing a huge role in both.

He put up 25 points, seven assists, and five rebounds in the win over the Spurs and crucially nailed the game-winner to demonstrate his ability to deliver in the clutch.

The 26-year-old followed that up with 27 points, seven assists and three rebounds on the road against OKC.

In previous years, the Trail Blazers' record has often counted against McCollum when it comes to All-Star selections but that can't be the case this time as they enjoy a winning record at 22-20 in the Western Conference.

Unfortunate

He would certainly stand a better chance if he was in the east but there's always a deserving player that misses out every year and McCollum could be the casualty again this time, even with some impressive numbers to his name.

The Lehigh product is averaging 21.6 ppg, 3.4 apg, and 4.2 rpg and continues to develop as one of the best scorers in the league.

Portland Trail Blazers v Los Angeles Lakers

He may not play in the biggest market or have a huge personality, but McCollum's play certainly does all the talking for him and he deserves to be recognised for his contributions.

His game has come on leaps and bounds since he was drafted by the franchise with the number 10 pick in 2013.

The Blazers star's name wasn't among the list of the top 10 voted guards in the latest returns from the All-Star fan voting so his only hope is to be selected by the coaches.

With some stiff competition for places, it appears he'll probably miss out but his chance to rub shoulders with the elite will certainly come sooner rather than later if he continues to produce at a high level.

Topics:
Western Conference
NBA
Northwest Division
CJ McCollum
Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard

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