Why should Trail Blazers fans support CJ McCollum and the Pelicans tonight?

Why should Trail Blazers fans support CJ McCollum and the Pelicans tonight? ...

When he returned to the Moda Center on April 7 to lead his new team, the New Orleans Pelicans, to a 127-94 victory, fans swooped.

During pregame speech, the love was presented with a 90-second ovation, demonstrating how McCollum connected the team and the city.

The reason why McCollum was traded is on the way, and it's time that supporters of the Blazers wish him the worst. Or, at the least, that McCollum's new team loses.

Tuesday night, New Orleans will host San Antonio in a play-in game at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN. The game is important to the Blazers because they acquired a conditional first-round draft pick in a package deal for McCollum, and that pick is now on the line.

If they make the playoffs, the Pelicans will keep the pick, and the Pelicans will be among the top four selections of the 2022 draft. The NBA draft lottery will be held May 17.

If the offense falls between the No. 5 and 15, the Blazers would receive the pick. New Orleans (36-46) ended the season with the 11th-worst record in the NBA. The Blazers (27-55) had the sixth-worst record.

A Pelicans loss Wednesday night would force them into the playoffs, but a victory would not automatically advance them into the playoffs. The Los Angeles Clippers who lost 109-104 Tuesday will still have to defeat them for a playoff spot.

While McCollum still resides in the hearts of many in Rip City, the franchise will be fighting against him and the Pelicans this week.

Josh Hart, who joined Portland in the McCollum trade, admitted Monday to having mixed feelings about his former team and its postseason goals. He has not reached the playoffs in five NBA seasons, including two with the Los Angeles Lakers, and said it is nice to see his former teammates doing well. Sort of.

"I like those guys there," he said. "We were really a tight-knit group there. I think they should not be cheering for them. So, I suspect they will do well in the game. But maybe not win the games. Like, lose on a buzzer-beater. I don't know.

Aaron Fentress | | (Twitter), (Instagram, and) (Facebook)

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