The problem with the guarding of C.J. McCollum is that there is no middle ground. There is no choice but to keep a close watch as McCollum has long been one of the most dangerous pull-up shooters in the league. However, any responsible defender should also remain conservative and grounded so as not to be thrown from a particularly compelling ball counterfeiting. Every possession that runs through McCollum rides on this tension, and on Tuesday evening, Bucks freshman Donte DiVincenzo was defeated in a demoralizing manner.
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All DiVincenzo did was defend McCollum with the pressure his squirrel play deserves. After a clear possession at the end of the third quarter McCollum drove hard with his opponent to the left before he stepped on the brakes. DiVincenzo stormed into the lane as if his sneaker had hit a piece of ice:
There is something particularly heartless about the way McCollum then meets the wreck, which was a promising young basketball player with occasional crossovers, and the ease with which he floats the ball over John Henson's tough fight. It was that kind of night for McCollum – and more precisely this kind of neighborhood. This sensational game bowed to a 19-point frame. McCollum besieged one of the best defenses of the league exactly at the vulnerability. The guards, who rely on driving to the brink, can swallow their attempts of Milwaukee's length. McCollum's runners and jumpers, however, thwarted the dribbling, keeping the Bucks expectant defense at bay. This is the kind of shots Milwaukee decided by a scheme to admit. They're also the kind of thing that a player like McCollum can repeatedly beat for a solid victory and a season-best 40-point night.