As the calendar turns to September, it appears as though pickup season has finally come to an end. After having 10+ Raptors pull-up for the better part of a few weeks, attendance has dipped drastically at the Rico Hines’ runs as no Raptor has turned up for a September scrimmage. Regardless, the pickup Raptors performed exceptionally in the seasons final weeks.
As usual, Raptors team one of Pascal Siakham, Fred VanVleet, Delon Wright, Norman Powell, and OG Anunoby, received far more screen time than team two due to their name recognition and overall visually appealing team-first style of play. Having five ballhandlers on the court who are willing to drive and kick allowed them to create far easier looks than their opponents:
Despite the collective approach, Siakam still managed to get busy in the post one time:
Team two, featuring Malachi Richardson, Jordan Loyd, Greg Monroe, Lorenzo Brown, and the aforementioned Felder, still held their own despite the lack of camera time, with Richardson going to his signature step-back on multiple occasions:
The young Raptors collective approach left enough of an impression on those in attendance (namely Paul George) that Rico Hines himself felt the need to reinforce to the other players how the Raptors “play the right way”:
Later that same week, Raptors team one was back in action with chef Serge Ibaka subbing in for Delon Wright. Randomly sporting a do-rag, Ibaka looked relatively limber and comfortably fit into the Bench Mob’s ball movement-heavy style:
Otherwise, the squad looked as crisp as ever, with VanVleet showing some isolation juice and Powell continuing to terrorize his old practice rims:
Lastly, gym rat Pascal Siakam came on his own four times (!) the
He showed off that ever-sought-after jumper:
He rolled to the rim with great success:
He got some buckets in the paint:
He gave us some glimpses of point Pascal:
He ate a lay-up attempt:
And got some easy baskets:
Sadly, this brings us to the end of pickup season. I generally never do takeaways from pickup, but as this is the last time, I’ll make an exception: expect some sort of leap from Siakam this season. He’s attended 75% of the Rico Hines’ runs this summer and seemed to improve with each appearance. There are very few holes left in his game.