Raptors news: Pascal Siakam admits excitement after Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green departures due to increase in shots available
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Raptors’ Pascal Siakam admits excitement after Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green departures due to increase in shots available

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Toronto Raptors star Pascal Siakam has flourished through the start of the 2019-20 season, even more so now that Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green aren’t taking shots away in the same starting lineup. The Most Improved Player award winner has been the beneficiary of Leonard departing for the Los Angeles Clippers and Green going to the Lakers — not being shy to admit he’s enjoying the extra shots.

“When you get to shoot the ball a little bit more, it gets you excited a little bit,” said Siakam. “I like that.”

Siakam has seen a bold increase in minutes and shot attempts. The Cameroonian went from 31.9 minutes per game as a secondary scoring option last season to 35.4 through nine games so far — not only starter’s minutes but star’s minutes.

The biggest increase, however, is his shot attempts — which have nearly doubled after Leonard and Green’s departure. Siakam has gone from a respectable 11.8 attempts to 20.6 this season, hitting at a 49.7% clip this season.

His trips to the foul line have also increased, along with his free-throw percentage, now hitting nearly five free-throws per game at a 89.6% rate.

Siakam is making the most of his opportunity as the lone viable scoring option for the Raptors, which could make him make the jump from MIP to a first-time All-Star this season. His averages of 27.4 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 3.7 assists surely make a convincing one.