Pascal Siakam’s 3-point shooting has reinvigorated Raptors offense

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 16: Pascal Siakam #43 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 16: Pascal Siakam #43 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors have surged to within one game of the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference, which is helping those who were skeptical of this team’s ceiling start to gradually respect them. Pascal Siakam has been integral to the club’s reinvention, as he is looking like the All-Star player we saw in the 2019-20 season.

Since February 4, Siakam is averaging 23.6 points, 8.0 assists, and 5.0 assists per game. From a statistical point of view, this has been the best stretch of basketball we’ve ever seen from him. Toronto would be completely dead in the water if they didn’t have Siakam taking over games like this.

On a team that went into the season knowing that they would struggle to be effective from 3-point range, Siakam has taken it upon himself to turn back the clock and start shooting from deep once again. His volume isn’t super high, but his efficiency has been superb.

In the last six weeks, Siakam has nailed just under 41% of his 3-point attempts while taking around three per game. When that dimension is added to a style of play that already includes expert interior finishing, switchable defense, and quality passing, it’s no wonder Siakam is playing such dominant basketball.

Toronto Raptors star Pascal Siakam is shooting much better of late.

Part of the reason that Siakam was less effective in Tampa was his poor 3-point shooting. Siakam went from hitting 36% and 35% of his 3-point attempts in a two-season span to just under 30%. His results this year make it seem like his iffy efficiency was another byproduct of the Tampa relocation.

Toronto’s shooting has been one of the main factors in their propensity to drop winnable games against subpar competition. If one of either Fred VanVleet or Gary Trent Jr. was off-target, the first-half iteration of this team would’ve struggled to keep pace from beyond the arc.

In addition to Siakam, Precious Achiuwa has evolved from a player who only took 3-pointers out of necessity to a legitimate weapon that strokes it with very high efficiency from beyond the arc. With Toronto’s forwards capable of stretching the floor, the offense has been extremely fun to watch in the last few weeks.

VanVleet might be the steadying backcourt influence this team needs, and Scottie Barnes is the young dynamo Toronto must go above and beyond to protect, but Pascal Siakam is the team’s most consistent offensive performer night in and night out. With his jumper restored, Toronto could be a tough out in the playoffs.

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