Raptors’ Pascal Siakam assesses his return after 11-game absence
Pascal Siakam returned on Sunday after an 11-game absence in a tight loss against the San Antonio Spurs. The Toronto Raptors incumbent star struggled with his shooting (6-of-17) but mustered 15 points, five rebounds, and four assists in 30 minutes after missing nearly a month with his injury.
The Raptors forward assessed his performance upon returning to the floor:
“It felt good,” said Siakam, according to Blake Murphy of The Athletic. “Obviously happy to be back. Definitely a little tired but I’ll take that after being out for a month, I haven’t played significant basketball. I feel like I kind of lost my rhythm a little bit. I wasn’t able to get back into it. It’s just going to take a little bit, I’m sure. Eventually I’ll be better with that, but first time back out there, I think I did a decent job.”
DeMar DeRozan, who was a Raptors teammate of Siakam for his first two seasons before he was traded to the Spurs, noted Siakam didn’t miss a beat and stayed down on all of his offensive counters, making it tough for him to score. Still, DeRozan managed to pour in 25 points on 7-of-12 shooting and 11-of-14 from the charity stripe.
Late in the game, Siakam missed a key free throw, as well as a layup with 19.2 seconds left that would have tied the game at 103-103. The Raptors star also missed a desperation shot as time expired after LaMarcus Aldridge missed a pair of free throws.
It might take Siakam a few more games to get some oil in the gears, but the Raptors will need his scoring and all-around performance to make another jump in the East, now trailing the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics by two games.