Last season, the Portland Trail Blazers were swept from the NBA playoffs in embarrassing fashion against the Utah Jazz. After that series, many believed that Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum simply didn’t have what it takes to make a deep run in the playoffs, let alone win a series. This season, the duo seem to be proving everyone wrong as they are currently up 3-1 against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Lillard and McCollum have been lights out in the playoffs so far and the Thunder’s Russell Westbrook is struggling to find an answer against them.
After game four on Sunday, McCollum explained what’s been motivating the team this postseason.
“We got swept last year. It was really embarrassing, and everybody talked about it,” McCollum said. “It was on TV every day. They talked about us getting swept, they talked about me getting traded, talked about how we can’t win together. We remember, and we know that feeling of going home early.”
When it comes down to the differences between last year’s team and this year’s, McCollum explained that a lot of it can be boiled down to experience.
“I think we’re a lot more mature than we were in past years,” McCollum explained. “We can handle adversity and understand what we want to accomplish.
Game 5 will go down on Tuesday and if the Trail Blazers win, they will move on to the second round of the playoffs.