Pascal Siakam and the Toronto Raptors were expected to get beaten down by the Los Angeles Lakers last night, as playing LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the second night of a back-to-back is by no means an ideal situation. Luckily, Siakam and Kyle Lowry were here to save the day in what turned out to be a dominant 121-114 victory.
While Lowry’s 37 points and 11 assists were one of the best performances from last night across the league, it was Siakam who stole the show, recording 39 points and 13 rebounds, dominating the likes of Davis and Andre Drummond while he was at it.
Siakam wasn’t named an All-Star this season, and NBA media has assumed, incorrectly, that Siakam is a one-hit-wonder that is a major reason behind Toronto’s steep decline this season. This shows just how little Raptors basketball the media really looked at Siakam’s game, as he has been his usual self this season.
Siakam should be free from all slander for the foreseeable future, as his game against one of the best frontcourts and defensive teams in the game shows that he can be a primary scoring option on offense.
Toronto Raptors star Pascal Siakam proved what a quality talent he is.
Yes, LeBron and Davis are both coming off of injuries. Yes, Dennis Schroder didn’t play in that game. That two facts are still irrelevant. Even a limited James and Davis are an elite pairing, and the Lakers are still one of the best defensive teams in the game. Siakam shredded them in a dominant fashion.
If you didn’t consume any Toronto Raptors-centric media, you would think Siakam is a poor offensive player with his one spin move being his only positive trait. Last night was a clinic. He was getting to the rim, handling the ball, and shooting from distance, all the while taking on one of the best defensive players in the league in Davis.
Siakam is averaging fewer points per game this season, but that is only due to him taking fewer shots. His shooting percentages are almost identical to last year, as are his rebounding totals. His assists spiked right up. Siakam’s status as an elite offensive playmaker hasn’t eroded one bit, and he reminded us of that.
Siakam might have some nights where he struggles, but willingly overlooking the fact that he is one of the best power forwards in the league because of those games is just a silly way to analyze the game. Siakam proved his quality against the best of the best in a performance that should force haters to put some respect on his name.