Chris Boucher, Pascal Siakam spark Raptors in win vs. Cavaliers

Mar 24, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (43). Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 24, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (43). Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /

Pascal Siakam and the Toronto Raptors may have welcomed OG Anunoby back to the starting lineup, but that alone was not going to be enough to take down the Cleveland Cavaliers. With Fred VanVleet not 100% healthy and Gary Trent Jr. out, role players like Thad Young and Chris Boucher were asked to shoulder the burden.

After a sluggish start to proceedings, Siakam and Anunoby started to catch fire from the 3-point line. With Trent on the mend, these two forwards provided the efficiency and spacing that this team has so frequently lacked throughout the season.

The Raptors exploded in the fourth quarter and pulled out a 117-104 victory to tie Cleveland in the Eastern Conference standings. While the Cavaliers hold the tiebreaker over Toronto, this win proved to the NBA world that Toronto is capable of escaping the play-in tournament.

The Raptors are not 100% healthy at this moment in time. Still, the lineup is looking much deadlier with Anunoby’s two-way wizardry, Siakam’s efficiency on offense, and Boucher’s exciting style of play. When all three of those factors combine, Toronto could become a very dangerous team.

156. 117. 81. Final. 104

Toronto Raptors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers: Pascal Siakam was on fire.

Siakam is playing arguably the best basketball of his career in the last few months. Not only is he rebounding and distributing the ball better than he has at any point in his career, but his shot-making has been jaw-dropping. His 3-point shooting helped Toronto catch fire in the second quarter.

Siakam recorded 35 points on 12-20 shooting and 6-7 from 3-point range. Even without Jarrett Allen, a frontcourt anchored by rookie stud Evan Mobley could give hardened NBA veterans some trouble. Siakam was able to navigate it deftly for most of the game.

Siakam was less effective in the second half due to foul trouble, but he was the driving force behind Toronto’s second quarter and third quarter surges. With the Cavs starting to get hot, Siakam’s playmaking was the main reason that Toronto withstood those broadsides.

The Raptors will need to be very careful with how they deploy VanVleet in the next few games due to his knee ailments. While that could be the catalyst for a ton of anxiety, Toronto’s worries could be soothed knowing that Siakam is going to be putting up All-NBA numbers.

Toronto Raptors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers: Chris Boucher brought energy.

Boucher has a tough task on this Raptors roster, as providing a jolt off the bench with so many players at the same position isn’t always easy. This game was a perfect example of what happens when his shot is falling and his rebounding is effective enough to keep opponents at bay.

Boucher recorded 17 points, eight rebounds, and three steals in 33 minutes on the floor. While starter Khem Birch played just 13 minutes, Boucher assumed a frontcourt role with a great deal of aplomb.

While the resurgent Precious Achiuwa was a bit jittery in this game, Boucher’s solid evening paired with a very efficient night from Young had the bench looking much better than it normally is. Keeping this energy up for the postseason could be imperative for a Raptors team looking to pull off some upsets.

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