Pascal Siakam came into this season with the expectations of a multiple time All-NBA player which he had failed to meet for multiple games. In last night’s game however, he finally looked like the dominant All-NBA player Toronto has been waiting for. Going into last night’s game Dallas had a record of 6-1 and were one of the league’s top offenses as well. It took a massive group effort from Toronto but they were able to pick up a 127-116 win vs Dallas.
Pascal Siakam played like a man possessed last night quite frankly. He dominated Mavericks defenders in the post and it felt as if nobody could stop him from there. He hit his patented spin move for buttery soft layups that subtlety hit off the glass for two points time after time. This game felt like the first time Toronto actually put an emphasis on getting Pascal the ball in his spots and it paid dividends. Pascal’s outside jumper was not falling but the mid range looked as good as it’s looked all season long. Pascal dropped a season high 31 points and he looked as aggressive as ever while doing it.
Pascal wasn’t the only Raptor who torched the Dallas Mavericks. OG Anunoby dropped 26 points in the Raptors win and he did a lot of his damage off the ball. Whether it was curling around a screen and cutting to the rim for layups, coming off of down screens for threes, or just attacking closeouts, OG was shining in his role and he didn’t even have the ball much, and this is his second game in a row scoring 20 or more points.
Pascal and OG carried the majority of the load offensively but there was still plenty of contribution from the others, especially from Toronto’s bench unit. Gary Trent Jr. had a resurgence of some sort and scored 16 points along with making 4 triples. Chris Boucher also had an excellent game off the bench as he scored 10 points which included one triple. Boucher was also attacking closeouts and finishing some pretty tough layups, great to see him give Toronto some valuable minutes. Malachi Flynn also had a pretty solid game as he recorded 8 points and 4 assists. Flynn ran a ghost screen action with Pascal and got one of his threes off of that and he hit another nice three in the 4th to thwart the Mavericks comeback attempt.
Scottie Barnes did not fill up the scoring column like he has been all season but this game was still wildly impressive and impactful from him. Barnes recorded a statline of 14 points 14 rebounds 7 assists 4 steals and 2 blocks. It felt as if Barnes was everywhere on defense, mucking up passing lanes, rotating player to player in a couple strides, digging down on ball handlers at the perfect time to get steals, sliding over and leaping extremely high to get blocks, just a great game for Scottie on that end. Offensively he wasn’t getting his jumpers to fall at the same rate he has previously this season but he still found a way to impact the game offensively which was through his rebounding, pushing it in transition, and his superb playmaking. Scottie passed the ball well and hit guys on the move while operating from the elbow area and he got guys like OG and Pascal some great looks. Scottie was carving up the Dallas defense in transition and he was finding his guys. Scottie also made an impact on the glass as well as he got 6 offensive rebounds and 8 defensive rebounds which allowed him to keep possessions alive for Toronto and get putbacks along with start and run many fastbreaks. Barnes shot 4/15 but he still found a way to have a positive impact on the game and that bodes extremely well for the future.
Toronto’s next game is on Saturday against the Boston Celtics who are an even more difficult opponent and they will need a huge group effort like this win over Dallas to pull that one out.