Raptors: Pascal Siakam, Rico Hines already working on shooting
Even after being named an All-NBA player for the second time in his career, Toronto Raptors superstar Pascal Siakam is exploring every possible angle through which he can take his game to the next level. 3-point shooting could be what sets him apart in 2022-23 and beyond as he cements himself among the league’s elite.
After failing to even crack 30% from beyond the arc in the Tampa bubble, Siakam was able to claw back to a respectable 34% from deep last year. However, his frequency shrunk to the lowest level we’ve seen in years, as he attempted only 3.2 shots from long range per game.
No stranger to adding new bells and whistles to his game, Siakam would be an even more feared offensive force if he could get back to being a perimeter force. Pascal is hard at work this offseason trying to become a more complete offensive player, at least according to his social media activity.
Raptors assistant coach Rico Hines, who was recently hired amid all of the Kevin Durant speculation, is hard at work trying to turn Siakam back into a lethal sniper. If Siakam starts shooting from 3-point range with more frequency, hitting 25 points per game might not be an outrageous goal.
Toronto Raptors: Pascal Siakam is improving his game.
While Siakam has always been an above-average finisher inside, he’s added several bells and whistles to his game that we simply didn’t see early in his career. Siakam’s per-36 minutes rebounding numbers are the best of his career, and he’s grown into a phenomenal passer.
Siakam’s passing, which culminated in a career-best assists per game mark last season, was so exemplary that Toronto has used him as a point guard. If this continues in 2022-23 given some of the lackluster depth on the roster, giving him the green light from deep may unlock a new level of consistency for this unit.
While the Raptors need to figure out how to balance Siakam’s play with a potentially increased role for OG Anunoby and the continued development of Scottie Barnes, Pascal potentially becoming more of a sniper will add another new dimension to this offense.
We’ve seen Siakam take and make some big 3-pointers in postseason situations, so we know he can do it. With two of the best shooting coaches in the business at his beck and call, Siakam may end up setting new career-best marks from deep.