The Toronto Raptors may have started poorly when Pascal Siakam returned to the lineup after his shoulder injury, but that was to be expected after such a critical piece of the squad missed so much time due to injury. Considering the skill he’s shown during his career, it was only a matter of time before the All-Star player we remember returned to the floor.
With Fred VanVleet kicking butt regularly this season and first-year sensation Scottie Barnes making a very convincing Rookie of the Year case early on, adding a player with a high usage rate in Siakam back into the fold forced Toronto to readjust their offense on the fly.
While there were some early hiccups, Toronto has settled into a nice rhythm in the last few games. Siakam appears to be back at full health and as confident as ever. Despite rolling into Toronto with elite perimeter defense, the Washington Wizards felt the full force of his wrath in Sunday night’s game.
Siakam finished with 31 points on 10-21 shooting and 10-12 from the free throw line. the first half is where he did most of his damage, as he totaled 24 points while showing just how deep his bag of offensive tricks can get. Siakam showed that even against quality competition, his offensive skills will shine.
The Toronto Raptors saw Pascal Siakam dominate the Wizards.
Concerns about Siakam playing alongside Barnes have been nullified as the two have gotten more comfortable near each other. Siakam continues to become more efficient on offense, all while Barnes is developing a 3-point shot and assisting his teammates at a far greater rate than he did without Pascal on the floor.
VanVleet has been sensational this season. However, relying on the star point guard to continually bail this team out, especially while OG Anunoby is recovering from an injury, is not a very prudent strategy. Siakam showing he is more than capable of being the top offensive generator changes the entire scope of this offense.
While Siakam has largely been solid this season, there have been a few duds mixed in with some of his standout performances. While the anti-Siakam crowd is quick to get very vocal whenever he has a bad game, the pro-Siakam fans should be deliriously excited that he was cooking Washington like this.
Siakam may have scored 32 points on just 12 shots against the Kings, but his show against Washington might be his best individual game of the season. If he stays hot when Anunoby returns to the lineup, the Raptors can finally start taking on the best in the East with all of their impact players healthy.