Raptors star Pascal Siakam has a legitimate All-NBA case

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 20: Pascal Siakam #43 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 20: Pascal Siakam #43 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors may have some extraordinary secondary scorers, but even the most basic examination of their games reveals that this team revolves around the skills of Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam. The latter star has been having his best statistical season ever in 2021-22.

Since he exited the league’s health and safety protocols, Siakam has been on an absolute tear. He is averaging 23.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, 5.7 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. Even though he made an All-Star team two years ago, Siakam has never been this statistically proficient in so many areas.

The fact that Siakam did not make the All-Star team this season remains the most egregious snub we saw. It appears as though he’s taken that snub to heart, as his numbers since missing out have been astonishing. As the Raptors climb the standings, Siakam might be in line for some individual awards.

A Raptors player making All-NBA in a league that is being dominated by versatile big men seemed unthinkable when the season started, but Siakam has a legitimate chance of making it as a third-team selection. The confluence of his numbers and Toronto’s record might be enough to seal a selection.

Toronto Raptors: Pascal Siakam could be All-NBA

While Siakam is putting up the best rebounding numbers and assist stats he’s had in his career to date, the 22.2 points per game he’s averaging might be more impressive than the 22.9 he tallied in his All-Star season. Siakam’s overall efficiency (49% field goal percentage vs 45% in 2019-20) and 3-point percentage (37% vs 36%) are up.

It’s often very difficult to earn an All-NBA selection if you’re on a bad team, but Toronto’s recent rise to the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference could help the voters take a long look at Siakam’s numbers. Putting up these figures in the context of winning games should make voting for him very enticing.

Despite all of Pascal’s accomplishments, writers like Kevin Arnovitz have tried to place names like Kings big Domantas Sabonis in their third-team over Siakam. Jimmy Butler is another name that could potentially bar Siakam from All-NBA. Siakam’s numbers but both of them to shame.

Pascal Siakam is playing better than Jimmy Butler, Domantas Sabonis

Sabonis might be outrebounding Siakam and putting up numbers that are identical to both of his All-Star seasons, but he acquired those numbers on a rebuilding Indiana team and a dysfunctional franchise in Sacramento. Siakam’s stats are coming in the middle of a playoff push.

While Butler has an argument to be made as arguably the best player on the No. 1 seed in the East, there are some holes in the argument for him. On top of the fact that he has missed 23 games due to injury, Siakam has him beat handily in points and rebounds per game.

Siakam is leading a Raptors team that lacks frontcourt depth and shooting to a potential playoff birth in a season where many expected them to be in the lottery once again. If that’s not worthy of a third-team selection, I’m not sure what is.

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