Toronto Raptors superstar Pascal Siakam was shouldered with a good deal of blame following the team’s losing streak. With the squad starting to slip up after his return, some impatient fans thought that putting him in the starting lineup alongside Scottie Barnes at the center spot was not going to work.
After a very poor performance in Utah without OG Anunoby on the floor, the Siakam haters were in full force. All it took was literally one day for those same haters to retreat with their tails between their legs, as Siakam absolutely obliterated Luke Walton and the Sacramento Kings.
Siakam scored 32 points on just 12 shots, of which he made 10. With eight rebounds to his name in just 30 minutes of work, a frontcourt led by Richaun Holmes and Chimezie Metu was unable to do anything to stop him for most of the night. This was his finest performance of the 2021 season.
If Siakam continues to have performances that were half as good as Friday night’s masterpiece, the Raptors’ offensive attack could be thrust into the stratosphere. With an offensive threat at the 5-spot that the team lacked without No. 43 on the floor, Toronto’s ultimate offensive plan is starting to come together.
Toronto Raptors star Pascal Siakam led the team to a win.
While Barnes had just two points on the night, he was still able to impact the game as a rebounder and distributor. Ideally, Siakam and Barnes will both be able to get open looks consistently. That should come with time. At least Pascal put that Jazz game firmly in the past.
While Siakam came into last night’s game shooting under 30% from 3-point range since the start of last season, he connected on all three of his attempts from deep. While finishing inside at the center spot is essential for this scheme to work, Siakam getting back to his old self as a shooter would patch up one of the biggest holes on this Raptors roster.
The Siakam haters are going to do their thing irrespective of how he performs in the short term. What is inarguable is that the Raptors are a weaker offensive team when Siakam is not on the floor. Sacramento has one of the worst defenses in the league, but that shouldn’t be used to invalidate his performance.
Toronto may not have put their losing ways behind them just yet, as they have a matchup against a white-hot Warriors team coming up on Sunday. Still, the win against the Kings was a perfect encapsulation of what this team can do when everything clicks, and Siakam was a huge part of why they won in the way they did.