Can Pascal Siakam become the Raptors’ late-game closer?

Title: Can Pascal Siakam become the Raptors’ late-game closer?
Date: January 14, 2021
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about Pascal Siakam’s late-game play and the idea of a closer in basketball.

“Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.”

That line became synonymous with the hit show “Friday Night Lights,” and its simple, powerful message reverberates for anyone familiar with the series. Whenever Coach Eric Taylor, portrayed by Kyle Chandler, repeated that rallying cry to his team of Texan high school football players, you knew it was a big moment. Taylor, an all-time pop culture coach and father figure, was always letting his charges know an oft-unspoken truth of sports as a reflection of life: If you approach a challenge earnestly and to the best of your capability, you have already won.

Fred VanVleet may be among those of us who have used the extra time at home this last year to rewatch “Friday Night Lights” in all its excellence. Asked Wednesday about Pascal Siakam’s improved play, VanVleet simplified his teammate’s growth in a Taylor-ian manner.

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