Pascal Siakam and Toronto Raptors managed to stay alive against the Philadelphia 76ers, winning Game 5 in Philadelphia by shutting down Joel Embiid and James Harden. Precious Achiuwa’s fine day at the office and Toronto’s crunching defense limited Philly to just 88 points.
Toronto will still need to win two straight games, one of which will be in Philadelphia, to become the first team to advance to the second round of the postseason after being in a 3-0 hole. While it will be difficult, Toronto did manage to accomplish half of this task already.
The Raptors were able to overcome the loss of Fred VanVleet in the starting lineup and craft a game plan that was centered on their length and switchability. The results speak for themselves, as Toronto appears to have hit its stride at the perfect time.
Fans and observers need to take away these three facts after watching Toronto mount such a furious comeback in this series. The 76ers are still the favorites in this series, but Toronto has a nonzero chance of somehow doing the impossible and coming out with an improbable win.
3 takeaways from Toronto Raptors Game 5 win vs. Philadelphia 76ers
3. Game 3 was an outlier for Pascal Siakam.
Siakam was rightly roasted on social media for a pathetic Game 3 showing in which he and VanVleet looked like they were shooting the ball with their eyes closed. Siakam responded with 57 points and 18 rebounds during the last two games, showing that his All-NBA candidacy is as valid as ever.
Siakam has scored at least 20 points in four of the five games in this series with six blocks and four steals. Siakam has at least eight rebounds in three of these five games despite the presence of Embiid. That Game 3 nightmare appears to have been firmly put in the past.
Pascal Siakam is leading the Toronto Raptors against the 76ers.
Siakam’s playoff numbers are slightly below what he was averaging in the second half, but they can be excused as a result of having to go right at a player of Embiid’s size and strength. Toronto is still running their offense through Siakam and feeding off of his energy.
Siakam is going to be trusted to take and make all of the big shots in clutch situations over the next few days. After his Game 3 performance raised alarms in Toronto, his Game 5 showing was the type of standout showing this Raptors franchise needs from one of their stars.