The debate has raged on since Kawhi Leonard’s departure, but since entering the bubble there is no debating that Pascal Siakam cannot be the number 1 for this Toronto Raptors team.
Game 1: 33:33 mins | 13 pts | 3 reb | 2 ast | 2 stl | 0 blk | 2 TO | 5-16 FG | 0-3 3PT| 3-4 FT | 4 PF | +/- -20 |
Game 2: 43:06 mins | 17 pts | 8 reb | 6 ast | 3 stl | 1 blk | 1 TO | 6-16 FG | 1-4 3PT| 4-4 FT | 2 PF | +/- -2 |
Before we dive in, let me just say that I love Spicy P as much as the next person and truly think he can be a stud in this league for a long time. But Spicy what are these!? What happened to the All-Star who was averaging over 20 points a game in the regular season? What happened to the Most Improved Player from last year who was looking like he could be “the guy”? What happened to the guy the Toronto Raptors are paying 130 MILLION the next 4 years?
A number 1 is a player who steps up when their team needs them most and is a consistent force that their team can rely on night in night out. Pascal Siakam has not been that guy in the NBA Bubble. A team effort against the Brooklyn Nets got the job done, then again five guys from the Orlando YMCA would have got the job done.
Siakam’s numbers have been pedestrian at best throughout the first two games and that was honestly really nice of me. His field goal averages through the first two rounds have been 31% and 37% respectively. Terrible.
Siakam’s only made 3-pointer was a deep prayer to end the second quarter that he wouldn’t make 99 times out of 100. His shooting has to improve if the Raptors want to come back from down two games against this highly skilled Celtics team.
A number one player is also someone who should get the last shot and you can rely on to get that shot. Fred VanVleet has the clutch gene, but when Steady Freddy isn’t hitting his shots you need someone else to step up. On Tuesday night, Siakam was given that task and stepped out of bounds in the corner. Just devastating stuff from Pascal.
Spicy P is still a young player at 26 years old and will most certainly be a very good player in this league for the next decade. Nick Nurse will keep giving him chances to prove his worth, but Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster have to see that Siakam might not have what it takes to be the number 1 man on this Toronto Raptors team.