Title: WHY FIRST-ROUNDER SIAKAM IS EXACTLY WHAT THE RAPTORS NEED
Date: July 13, 2016
Original Source: Sportsnet
Synopsis: For my latest feature at Sportsnet, I looked at how Pascal Siakam came to be the Toronto Raptors’ No. 27 pick, why he’s a sure bet to be a fan-favorite, and how he can become more than “just” a hustle player.
Pascal Siakam’s eyes are darting everywhere.
He looks to the right side of the court, just above the 3-point line where point guard Fred VanVleet holds the ball, to see if a screen is needed. It’s not, and so Siakam quickly turns his attention to the lane, looking for a cutting opportunity. There’s room in the paint, but he eases back, lulling his defender into a comfort zone watching the ball. VanVleet lets fly with an errant jumper, and Siakam times a foray to the rim perfectly for a tip-in bucket.
It’s the Toronto Raptors first game of the Las Vegas Summer League, and the 6-foot-9 power forward is already defying expectations of most in attendance— including those who found the Raptors’ surprise first-round pick unassuming enough to misspell his name on the official scoresheet.
If they were before tip-off, nobody is sleeping on Siakam long. He pours in an efficient12 points in 15 minutes before exiting at halftime to avoid aggravating a minor knee injury. He finishes the game 6-for-10, out-racing the Sacramento Kings for a pair of dunks, going coast-to-coast off of a steal, and getting another easy slam off a lane-fill in transition.
Continue reading at Sportsnet.