After struggling with injuries and inconsistency, Pascal Siakam has been turning heads by coming in clutch for the Raptors. He’s playing some of his best basketball this season as he looks to become a consistent option for Toronto and an All-Star candidate at year’s end.
Pascal Siakam is re-asserting himself as a top NBA star and demanding all-star attention. He is averaging 25 points per game, with an efficient shooting percentage of 54%. He has also averaged 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 block in his last four games. Read more in detail here: sports casts.
The Toronto Raptors are still vying for a postseason spot in the Eastern Conference. They’re receiving a huge boost from a resurgent Pascal Siakam, who is once again looking like one of the league’s finest players.
Siakam disappeared in the Orlando “bubble” after his first All-Star season almost 18 months ago. Last season, he and head coach Nick Nurse had a tense relationship at times. It came to the point where Spicy P seemed to be on the verge of being traded, at least until he denied reports of his dissatisfaction last summer. Siakam, on the other hand, is now on a high, having quietly had an All-Star season for an exciting Raptors squad.
Lately, Pascal Siakam has dominating.
The Toronto Raptors have had a difficult time in recent weeks, but Pascal Siakam hasn’t had that experience.
Siakam has been outstanding for the Raptors, who have gone 4-6 in their previous ten games. The 27-year-old had averaged 21.8 points on 47.5 percent shooting, 8.3 rebounds, and 7.1 assists in his previous eight outings. He’s also been outstanding on defense, averaging 2.4 thefts and almost a complete block per game over that time.
Siakam finds a way to make his presence known even when he shoots the ball badly. During a victory against the Miami Heat on Saturday, the Raptors forward shot only 7-of-18 from the floor and committed four turnovers. He did, however, have 13 rebounds, six assists, four steals, and four blocks. Siakam blocked two consecutive attempts from Jimmy Butler in a spectacular show of verticality and recovery, as seen by the latter number.
Siakam has left both fans and himself wanting more from the start of his Raptors career, despite his incredible path from underappreciated potential to breakthrough NBA star. But he’s back to his old form, and basketball fans should take notice of his All-Star status.
In the presence of the elite
The versatility of Pascal Siakam’s skill set puts him in good company.
Siakam is one of just five players in the NBA this season to average at least 20 points (21.0), eight rebounds (8.4), and five assists (5.2). What about the others? Three past NBA MVPs, Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and James Harden, are on the list, as well as a prospective league MVP, Luka Doncic.
Counting numbers isn’t the only thing you can do. Siakam, on the other hand, stuffs the stat sheet effectively. In addition, analytical statistics don’t often reflect the intangibles that Spicy P brings to the Raptors.
Defensively, Siakam flies all over the court. His weak-side rotations are razor-sharp, which led to the stunning blocks on Butler on Saturday. With his length, the Cameroonian also plays the passing lanes and frustrates opposition attacks.
With Spicy P on the court, Toronto is a whole lot better. His +8.4 on-off margin is second only to fellow All-Star contender Fred VanVleet among Raptors players with at least 300 minutes of playing.
Siakam’s big January surge serves as a reminder that he is one of the best players in the NBA. He’s also demonstrating to Toronto why trading him now would be a bad idea.
Is it possible for the Raptors to deal Siakam?
Bam Adebayo #13 of the Miami Heat fouled Pascal Siakam #43 of the Toronto Raptors during a game on Jan. 29, 2022 | Eric Espada/Getty Images
Could the Raptors contemplate selling Siakam before the Feb. 10 deadline, given that they have a promising two-way, switchable point forward in star rookie Scottie Barnes?
Siakam’s recent jump, on the one hand, merely adds to his trade worth. Many teams may benefit from his two-way abilities, particularly as a player who can play the 4-spot or challenge as a taller and longer small forward.
The Raptors, on the other hand, depend significantly on Siakam and VanVleet, as the on-off splits demonstrate. Spicy P is an important part of the series. Given that his contract isn’t up until 2024, it’s just as plausible that Toronto sells on the cheap before the deadline this year in order to make a larger splash in the summer.
Siakam is living up to his All-NBA billing, regardless of where he is on February 10th.
Unless otherwise stated, all stats are courtesy of Basketball Reference.
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