RAPTORS BLOG: There haven’t been 15 better NBA players than Pascal Siakam this season

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Pascal Siakam will probably slow down a bit at the end of the regular season, so it’s a good time to assess what he has done.

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Siakam himself and Fred VanVleet saw his return to All-NBA competition coming, but were there many others?

It’s crazy what he did and it continued in a triple-double performance against potential playoff foe Philadelphia. The Sixers were missing top defender Matisse Thybulle and that might change the equation a bit, but Joel Embiid used to slow down Siakam a bit and that’s no longer the case. There’s no reason to think Siakam won’t continue to light up the Sixers if they meet in the playoffs.

Siakam has averaged 30.3 points, 9 rebounds and 8.3 assists in three games with Philadelphia this season. He shot 51% in those games, despite missing 12 of 14 three-point attempts. (Note, Siakam’s three-point splits against his opponents are crazy. He shot 50% or better against one group of teams and less than 20% against others).

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– There’s been a lot of talk about whether Siakam will make an All-NBA team again this year, as he’s played even better than his breakout season (which earned him a spot on the second team) .

It’s just my opinion, but I only have 12 players having better seasons than Siakam in 2021-22: In no particular order, Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Jayson Tatum, Karl – Anthony Towns, Ja Morant, Devin Booker, Chris Paul, LeBron James, DeMar DeRozan and Luka Doncic.

You could also discuss Siakam over DeRozan, based on Siakam’s best defense light years away.

– Some would put Siakam’s season behind players like Rudy Gobert, Trae Young, Donovan Mitchell, Dejounte Murray, Jimmy Butler, Jarrett Allen, Kyrie Irving and Fred VanVleet.

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Not to mention Siakam’s assist that led the Raptors to an unexpected top five or six finish in the conference.

– Obviously positions will play into the voting and will impact things, but at this point it’s almost impossible to argue that Siakam hasn’t been one of the NBA’s top 15 players this year.

  1. NBA commissioner Adam Silver (left) and Scottie Barnes pose for photos NBA commissioner Adam Silver (left) and Scottie Barnes pose for photos during the 2021 NBA Draft

    ex-high school coach thinks Raptors have some gems in Barnes and Achiuwa

  2. The Raptors' Pascal Siakam dribbles during Saturday night's skills challenge portion of NBA All-Star Weekend at the United Center in Chicago.  (USA TODAY SPORTS)

    Siakam does not limit anything

– Siakam broke Kyle Lowry’s streak of the last 14 triple-doubles by a Raptor in January 2021, and now has two of the last five (Lowry had two, VanVleet had the other).

– I wonder if Precious Achiuwa will get the most improved player votes. The price is supposed to be jumps from season to season, but as a savvy NBA person told me this week, Achiuwa could have improved over the course of the season more than anyone else. other. From trying to do too much and doing most of it inefficiently early on (with the exception of rebounds. Achiuwa was Toronto’s leading rebounder from day one of the season), to providing excellent defense, stellar rebounds, great three-point shooting and the ability to make plays himself. What a leap.

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– It was great to see Danny Green finally get his championship ring. It was an unprecedented expectation, due to unprecedented times. Green was an integral part of the team that won the title. He had a great regular season on both ends of the court (a career-best .455 from three-point range, one of the best in the NBA), and he also garnered a handful of All-Team votes -Defense for his work on the other end) and although the playoffs were more up and down (as they were for several Raptors that year), Green made his mark.

He was also one of my favorite Raptors I’ve dealt with over the years. Always ready to talk, whether recorded or not, and able to provide excellent insight.

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Congratulations to Danny.

– James Harden isn’t scary anymore, but teammate Tyrese Maxed looks really, really good. His first step must be among the fastest in the league. He’s next to his opponents in a flash, and his ability to shoot the ball (43.5% from three) makes him a double threat. Maxey looks like a guy who’s going to average 20 points a season for a long time.


Jacob Poeltl:

Poeltl had a solid season and grabbed 17 rebounds, scored 15 points and helped hold All-NBA big man Karl-Anthony Towns to 7 for 18 shooting, although the Spurs lost. Poeltl also made 3 blocks and 3 assists.


Josh Prime:

In the same game against Wolves, the youngest NBA player scored 12 points and added 6 assists. It was the 14th of Primoand start of the season (7-7 record for San Antonio) and his assist record. Primo was an interesting pick from Spurs, one of the hottest franchises around, and it will be fascinating to see how he develops. Most expect Primo to be key for Canada at some point.


Keeping track of the pick Toronto hands out to San Antonio (from the Thaddeus Young trade) and the pick they’ll get back from Detroit.

Currently, Toronto would send all 20and take to San Antonio and pick up the 33and choose from Detroit. There’s a slim chance Detroit will pick 32n/abut they could also drop to 34 or even 35. The Raptors could well end up with the 22n/a or 23rd choose to send, or the 19and.


1Pascal Siakam

2 Gary Trent Jr.

3 Tyrese Maxey

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