Toronto Raptors blame game: Who is at fault for 3-0 hole to 76ers?

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 20: Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors looks on as Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 20: Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors looks on as Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /
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Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – APRIL 16: Pascal Siakam #43 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors went from a feel-good underachiever punching above their weight class all season long to arguably the most disappointing playoff performer in the entire NBA after going down 3-0 against the Philadelphia 76ers. Murphy’s Law is doing a number on Toronto by throwing multiple huge obstacles in their path.

Getting blown out in Game 1 is bad enough, but losing Scottie Barnes to injury while doing so made things even more difficult for Toronto. While the odds have certainly been stacked against them in this series, losing Game 3 at home in overtime despite holding multiple double-digit leads for large chunks of the game is embarrassing.

The Raptors have nobody but themselves to blame after choking away a win in what was their best chance to potentially snag their first triumph of the series. Toronto’s long-term plan might not change as a result of this series, but their short-term prospects are looking increasingly glum after Joel Embiid’s dagger.

Unfortunately, it’s time to play the blame game with Toronto just one loss away from a catastrophic loss against a division rival. Which players deserve to shoulder the lion’s share of the blame for their struggles against Philadelphia? Is it fair to put all of this on their shoulders given the injuries?

Which Toronto Raptors deserve blame after losing to the 76ers?

3. Pascal Siakam

Siakam is an All-NBA player. He’s been one of the 15 or 20 best players in the league this season. He’s a Raptors legend who has proven he can be a valuable piece of a championship team and a featured option on a playoff team. Now that all of those qualifications are out of the way, time for blunt analysis. He was terrible in Game 3.

Siakam barely did anything of value on offense in the second half as he appeared to be complete; out of energy and lethargic. Toronto was still giving him the chance to make some plays late in the fourth quarter and overtime, but Pascal chose to let OG Anunoby take over in that stretch. That’s not ideal for a max player who might make All-NBA.

The Toronto Raptors need more from Pascal Siakam.

Siakam might have helped in Toronto’s defensive turnaround, but h sacrificed his efficiency and playmaking ability on offense to do so. While asking him to slow down Embiid and score 25 points might sound too harsh, this is what he’s supposed to do as the marquee player on this team.

Not a soul on this earth would argue that Siakam is a bad player or someone that doesn’t contribute to winning. the debate over his validity as a top option on a contender, however, is raging on. These last few games are certainly swinging the pendulum in one direction.