Raptors’ Pascal Siakam soul searches after pitiful NBA bubble performance
The Toronto Raptors entered the NBA playoffs as the second seed in the Eastern Conference, but left the “bubble” after a disappointing second-round exit.
The 26-year-old’s rise has been well-chronicled, and he took yet another individual leap this past year en route to being named an All-Star starter.
But Siakam disappeared in Orlando, averaging just 16.9 points on 39.4 percent shooting during the seeding games before averaging under 15.0 points and shooting a woeful 12.5 percent from beyond the arc during the series loss to the Boston Celtics.
Siakam said it was strange watching film of his play in Orlando. The Cameroon native noted he did not appear to be having any fun on the floor, in spite of how much he appreciates the game. Siakam added it was just as important to get his mind right entering this year:
“It was weird watching myself. When I watched the game, one of the things I really pointed out was just that I didn’t recognize myself in terms of having fun. I’m always someone that has fun playing the game, and I love this game, and I don’t ever want to play the game without any joy,” Siakam explained on a call with reporters, via William Lou of Yahoo Sports.
“There’s a lot of things going on in the world and I think we all gotta make sure that we get right, and for me that was the main focus, just getting right,” Siakam said. “I am in a good place right now, I feel happy and excited about the future, and I feel like I have that joy again.”
One of the criticisms of Siakam’s game in Orlando was his inability to create a clean look for himself or push through contact to get to the rim.
But as Siakam himself said, he has proven doubters wrong plenty of times before, and is not about to start questioning his own abilities now.
The Raptors will hope a revitalized version of Siakam can regain his All-Star form as the new season begins.