Toronto Raptors: Pascal Siakam is Raptors Player of the Week

Toronto Raptors - Pascal Siakam (Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Pascal Siakam (Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Every Sunday we bring you the Toronto Raptors player of the week. This week belongs to Pascal, who has stepped up his game in the last three games.

Much like many other times this season, Pascal Siakam has proved to be one of the driving forces for the Toronto Raptors this week. An awful, awful loss against the Cleveland Cavaliers was sandwiched between two comfortable victories. Siakam was a big presence in all three of those fixtures.

Averaging 17 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game, Siakam was the outstanding player for the Raptors this week, providing a level of consistency we’ve come to expect from the power forward.

With both Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry both missing games this week, Siakam had to step up to the plate and be the number two, and frequently, number one option for a Raptors team that ranks seventh in offensive rating.

First up for Pascal and the Raptors was the second night of a road trip, the destination was South Beach, where they would take on the Miami Heat. The Raptors were the far superior team on the day, blowing the Heat out by 21 points in a three-point shooting clinic. Six Raptors shot over 50-percent from three in the win, including Siakam who was 1-2 from the great beyond.

Pascal failed to make a three-pointer for the rest of the week, but he made his impact in other ways. Despite losing to the Cavaliers in tremendous fashion, Siakam showed off a facet of his game we don’t really see too often: the ball-handler in pick-and-roll situations.

In the clip linked here, we see Serge Ibaka, who was still on the court at this point, originally sets the screen for Siakam off a pass from Jeremy Lin. Ibaka resets the screen for Siakam, who drops his shoulder and feigns to the right, which forces David Nwaba, who is sat on his right shoulder, to come over the screen and allows Siakam to drive to the left and hit a nice running floater.

As a pick-and-roll ball handler, Siakam ranks in the 97th percentile for points scored per possession at 1.19 points. Admittedly, it’s a small sample size, but that clip shows just how dangerous he can be.

The Raptors bounced back in style against the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night, even without Kyle Lowry in the lineup. Siakam wasn’t the standout performer on the night, with Kawhi Leonard taking the plaudits, but he still had 16 points, courtesy of 10 points accumulated at the free-throw line. It was a poor shooting night for Siakam, but adding a team-high six assists meant he was beneficial to the Raptors in other ways.

Who Missed the Cut

Kyle Lowry and Kawhi Leonard both performed exceptionally this week, with the latter scoring 25 points against the Cavaliers and the Lakers, but missing the game against the Heat hurt his cause.

Lowry continues to push towards his early season form and was the best player on the court against the Miami Heat, scoring 24 points and adding seven boards and 10 assists. The knock on Lowry for much of the season has been his struggles from three, but he shot 55-percent from downtown across the past two games, showing clear signs of improvement.

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