Brad Stevens speaks out on the challenge of containing Raptors star Pascal Siakam
The Boston Celtics stopped Pascal Siakam and the Toronto Raptors in Game 5 of their second-round series on Monday. However, while they dominated the game, head coach Brad Stevens admitted it wasn’t easy.
Stevens acknowledged how tremendous of a player Siakam is, and how the Celtics face a tough challenge night in and night out trying to contain the All-Star forward.
“He’s terrific. Tough. You just try to guard him as hard as you can,” the Celtics coach said of the Raptors star, via Steven Loung of Sportsnet. “I know that sounds simple and doesn’t give away a whole lot, but you just try to be as good as you can be. He gets where he wants to go, he’s physical, can put the ball on the floor. He’s a really good competitor. So every time you get a stop on him, you really have to earn it. Saw at the start of the second half, he had a couple of baskets there and it looked like they were going to set the tone for the way the half was played again, and, you know, he’s tough.”
Pascal Siakam came to life at the start of the second half, scoring six straight points in the third period. Brad Stevens knew what was coming, and so he called a quick timeout to address the issue. That turned out to be a stroke of genius, with Siakam becoming a non-factor again after that juncture.
The Celtics have done a very impressive job in defending Siakam all series long, and Game 5 was a prime example of that. Siakam finished the Monday showdown with just 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting, along with four rebounds and two assists. Needless to say, he will need to be much better if the Raptors hope to get back into the series.