C.J. McCollum is having a breakout year. After averaging 5.3 ppg and 6.8 ppg in his first two seasons, McCollum is up to 21.0 ppg in 2015-16.
The Trail Blazers even tweeted this on Wednesday morning:
— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) January 6, 2016
Unfortunately for McCollum, his strong season was put on a brief hold Wednesday night. The Blazers accidentally put his name on the inactive list, disallowing McCollum to enter the team's tilt with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Due to a clerical error in the NBA's active list reporting, CJ McCollum is inactive for tonight's game vs. LAC. Luis Montero is active.
— Trail Blazers PR (@TrailBlazersPR) January 7, 2016
"Clerical error." That is what the Blazers are calling it.
Long story short, the Blazers' basketball staff fills out the lineup sheet, slotting 13 of 15 players onto the active roster. Either by accident or a sick joke, rookie Luis Montero slid into the spot intended for a healthy McCollum.
"Every game we fill out an active-inactive list," said Blazers head coach Terry Stotts after the game. "C.J. was mistakenly put inactive instead of Luis. I signed the paper without really noticing it but it's my fault for not looking at it."
Opposing coach Doc Rivers signed off on the roster soon after.
The Blazers caught their error and scrambled to get on a conference call with the league. The club thought they reached out with enough time to fix the obvious mistake, but the NBA would not budge, sighting league law that once both coaches sign the rosters, the list is final.
"I went out to warmup, before we were able to do starting lineups Coach Stotts just made me aware that something happened with the inactive/active list," McCollum said. "That was it… It's unfortunate but it's over with. Just moving on to the next game."
Allen Crabbe, who started at shooting guard in McCollum's place, had to be told three times he was the starter before he believed it.
McCollum remained in uniform during the first quarter, while Montero wore street clothes. When reality finally sunk in that Montero was active and McCollum was not, the two changed outfits.
Luis Montero said he found out he was on the active list when coaches told him to change clothes after the game started
— Mike Richman (@mikegrich) January 7, 2016
The Clippers won, 109-98, and Blazers fans will wonder if McCollum could have inspired a different result. Montero played three minutes but did not score.
"I just know they messed it up," Rivers said. "We've made that error twice in the last two years. It's not our fault."
Rivers had some fun mocking McCollum on his way off the court.
— ThePostGame.com (@ThePostGame) January 7, 2016
It's true: C.J. McCollum's Lehigh Mountain Hawks out-dueled Austin Rivers' Duke Blue Devils, 75-70, in a 15 vs. 2 match-up of the 2012 NCAA Tournament. McCollum had 30 points in his breakout collegiate performance. Rivers' son and current Clipper, Austin, along with current Blazer Mason Plumlee, each had 19 points for Duke. Last night, Rivers had 16 and Plumlee posted 19.
McCollum, who is perhaps the favorite for NBA Most Improved Player this season, is expected to be back in the Blazers' starting lineup for the team's Friday night home date with the Warriors.
-- Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.