Pascal Siakam’s offensive game is much better than 2020-21
The Toronto Raptors welcomed Pascal Siakam back to the fold after his offseason shoulder operation, but he hasn’t been able to lead the squad to a ton of wins. Outside of one completely dominant victory against a Kings team coached by the since-deposed Luke Walton, Toronto is winless with Siakam in the lineup.
Siakam himself, however, should not be singled out as the reason for these losses. On top of a difficult schedule and long West Coast road trip, Siakam has been putting up offensive numbers that are already superior to what he did in 2020-21 despite a lower points per game average.
Playing as a center in a loss against the mighty Golden State Warriors, Siakam was able to record 21 points on 8-16 shooting against one of the best defenses in the league and one of the best defensive players in Draymond Green.
Siakam has scored 20 points in four of his last five games, with one nightmare of a showing against Utah serving as one of the main outliers here. With Toronto in the middle of a very challenging West Coast road trip amid injuries to players like OG Anunoby, Siakam is the least of the team’s issues right now.
Toronto Raptors standout Pascal Siakam is back to his old self.
The claim that he is impacting the development of Scottie Barnes doesn’t hold up when you realize that the rookie’s assist percentages have increased dramatically since Siakam came back into the fold. Pascal is dominating the ball, but he needs to do that to be effective as he has been in past seasons.
Barnes is merely adapting to a new role, one he should get very comfortable with filling.
Siakam is making 48% of his shots and 42% of his 3-point attempts, which are up from 45% overall and 30% last season. Even with duds against Boston and Utah dragging his average down, Siakam is more efficient than ever. With 3.6 assists per contest, his playmaking continues to remain excellent.
Even though Siakam is a borderline elite offensive player and quality defensive player according to basically every metric one could use, it has become far too commonplace for some Raptors fans and unaffiliated basketball fans to slander him as a negative presence on this roster.
The Raptors may not be playing their best basketball at the moment, but if you’re going to pin those losses on a proven All-Star, All-NBA player, and champion, that’s taking the win-loss record way out of context. If the defense corrects themselves and Siakam keeps playing like this, the wins will eventually start coming.