The Trail Blazers sure could have used C.J. McCollum on Wednesday. Without the services of the third-year guard, Portland lost a home game to the Los Angeles Clippers, 109-98.
The thing is, though, that the Blazers should have had the services of McCollum, who was healthy, dressed in his uniform and ready to go. However, he was forced to sit out the contest because of a clerical error.
McCollum’s name was not circled on a list of players designated as active that all teams are required to submit about an hour before NBA games. Instead, the name of little-used guard Luis Montero, who was in street clothes before the game, was circled, making him active.
Accidentally having Luis Montero active instead of CJ McCollum is the basketball lineup equivalent of Yakkity Sax.
— Blazer's Edge (@Blazersedge) January 7, 2016
Head coach Terry Stotts did not notice the error, and he signed the form, making it official. After realizing their mistake, the Blazers asked the NBA to allow them to make McCollum active, but the Clippers objected.
Strange But True: The Trail Blazers left CJ McCollum off their lineup card as a "clerical error". He cannot play. pic.twitter.com/McFoo4km7n
— NBA TV (@NBATV) January 7, 2016
Los Angeles had good reason to want to take advantage of McCollum’s absence. The guard is Portland’s second-leading scorer, at 21.0 points per game, and he had been particularly effective in recent games.
But McCollum was reduced to a spectator on Wednesday, while his replacement in the starting lineup, Allen Crabbe, scored 11 points on 4-of-10 shooting and registered a game-worst negative-15 plus/minus. For his part, Montero was told to put on his uniform, and got on the court for just under three minutes, missing his only shot and making no other statistical contribution.