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It's time to talk about Pascal Siakam

(Pool Photo/USA Today Sports)

This year, everyone expected Pascal Siakam to step up to the plate as the star of the Raptors. With Kawhi gone, the Most Improved Player (MIP) of the 2018-2019 season could try to fill his shoes. And in a way, he did. The Raptors finished the season 53-19, second in the Eastern Conference. In an impressive season with this team, Siakam started out strong. Per Raptors Republic, his stats before the bubble were as is:

(Raptors Republic)

Something to note here is his Net Rating, as it has gone considerably down in the playoffs. Although it is still early, it is worth mentioning. His production is an important factor in the Raptors winning games. When Siakam is the consistent player and scores more than 20 points, the Raptors are more dominant and win games. 

In Sunday's game 1 loss to the Boston Celtics, Siakam had only 13 points on 5/16 FG and did not make any of his three attempted three point shots. He played for 34 minutes but couldn’t seem to find his rhythm. Not making shots was an issue today for the Raptors - but it has been an issue for Siakam for a while now. When playing against defenders who are not smaller or slower than him, Siakam’s iconic spin move doesn’t seem to work. He needs to be more assertive in the paint.

In the video above from today’s game, you can see Jaylen Brown work against Siakam’s spin move and force him to miss. There seems to be something wrong with his confidence. How can he work on it? A first step would be to not overthink it too much. It may not look like much to someone who doesn't watch too closely, but this is a huge component to Pascal Siakam’s success. Another way he could improve is to work on his footwork, being more sure of himself when he drives to the basket. Want to see what I’m talking about?

Below is a compilation of his best buckets doing his signature spin move.

Siakam is an integral part of the Raptors team. If they want to push this Celtics team, he must get out of his head and go back to being “Spicy P.” 


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