Only two seasons after being named to All-NBA Second Team, Pascal Siakam has up and done it again, this time of the Third-Team variety. This was almost assuredly the better season, making it the best of his career. Siakam boasted per-game averages of 22.8 points, 8.5 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 1.3 steals, and 0.6 blocks while shooting 49.4 percent from the field and 34.4 percent from deep. He set career his career high in points, rebounds, assists, and steals.
Siakam ascended to the status of superstar during the regular season, scoring efficiently no matter the state of the offense around him. He did the easy stuff — layups, creating for others. He did the hard stuff, scoring tough, contested shots in midrange when all else had failed. And in many ways, his defense equaled his incredible offensive contributions.
In the playoffs, Siakam virtually matched his regular-season averages despite playing with practically no spacing around him due to Fred VanVleet’s injury. He was the lodestone of any and all success Toronto managed. He led the team in on/off differential in the regular season and was second in the playoffs, among rotation players. Siakam carried the load the whole way.
Siakam was asked before the season what being “the guy” meant to him. He downplayed it in his answer, but VanVleet spoke afterwards and gave this definition: if you shoot 40 times, nobody blinks their eyes. Siakam, even during incredible 2019-20 season, was not the guy for the Raptors, not with Kyle Lowry still in town. And this season, though Fred VanVleet ascended to All-Star status, the team decidedly became Siakam’s. He is now the guy, through and through, and it was his talent and success that brought Toronto as far as it went.
Congratulations on acknowledgement well earned to Siakam.