RAPTORS BLOG: Wrapping it all up with assorted thoughts


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Highly doubt Siakam not shooting for a few weeks caused this to happen. It sure seemed like a mental thing with so much going on around the world, particularly with the NBA, not a physical issue. And it’s perfectly understandable, even if he’s about to get paid a ton of money and is expected to be the new face of the franchise. He’s human. This year is not like any other. If it happens again, then the Raptors need to panic.

And if you do what you need to to truly contend again — add a superstar to the mix somehow — you’ll be just fine. Siakam will go back to being a solid No. 2, with Kyle Lowry acting as a 2A for however long he stays a Raptor. Pushing Fred VanVleet back a notch too would also help, offensively speaking. VanVleet made some mistakes late in the series. He tried to do too much, tried to force the issue, and made bad decisions that cost the Raptors. He also hit some huge shots and defended at an ultra-elite level though.

VanVleet held Kemba Walker to 31% shooting in the series as the primary defender (unfortunately VanVleet only shot 28% himself against Walker). Jayson Tatum shot 50% against VanVleet, but had five turnovers against eight assists.

Siakam’s defensive numbers were strong, despite one terrible defensive game against Boston: Jaylen Brown shot just 34% against him; Jayson Tatum 39% (with 10 combined turnovers from the pair and just six assists); Marcus Smart had a field day against Siakam (an unsustainable 63%), but Brooklyn’s top player Caris LeVert shot just 29% when Siakam was his primary defender.