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CJ returns, Nurk goes for 20 and 20 and Ant adjusts | Locked on Blazers podcast

CJ McCollum made his return to the court for the first time since Dec. 4, finishing with 16 points and looking mostly likely himself as Portland beat the Magic.
Credit: Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. — CJ McCollum made his return to the court for the first time since Dec. 4 on Monday, helping the Portland Trail Blazers easily dispatch the lowly Orlando Magic, 98-88. McCollum finished with 16 points and looked mostly like himself in his first game back in nearly six weeks. Jusuf Nurkic was a force inside for the Blazers against Orlando, grabbing 22 rebounds to go with 21 points. The Magic had no answer for Nurk, who bullied his way to the third Barbara Walters game of his career.

RELATED: CJ and Elise McCollum welcome son Jacobi James McCollum

Finally, let's talk about the adjustment coming for Anfernee Simons. He looked like an absolute star in six games to open January but that was without another high usage guard in the backcourt for about half of those games. Now he's sharing the court with McCollum and soon enough Norman Powell. Can Simons maintain his level of aggression while playing alongside other offensive forces? It's a something to keep an eye on over the next few weeks for the Blazers emerging guard.

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About Locked On Blazers

Mike Richman has covered the Portland Trail Blazers in various capacities since 2014 as a beat writer for The Oregonian, a reporter at NBC Sports Northwest and now in the form of the only daily Trail Blazers podcast, Locked On Blazers. The Pass First Point Guard will get you closer to the team with reports from inside the Moda Center and by unpacking the statistics to know and about your favorite team. You will also find regular guests and can get your questions answered with weekly mailbag shows.

If you would like to participate in the weekly mailbag show, submit your questions to @mikegrich on Twitter or email lockedonblazerspod@gmail.com.

Locked On Blazers is the best way to stay up to date on the latest happenings in the Portland basketball world. It’s available wherever you get podcasts and on YouTube with new shows every weekday.

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