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Video: Raptors’ Pascal Siakam denies Russell Westbrook and goes coast to coast for the feed to Danny Green

Pascal Siakam, Raptors

The Toronto Raptors are a resilient bunch with the NBA Playoffs inching closer, and a lot of it has to do with the growth of Pascal Siakam this season.

The 24-year-old power forward asserted his defensive mastery with an epic block on Russell Westbrook in Friday’s match-up against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Pascal Siakam has eked his way into the Raptors’ starting group this season, and he’s become their best option alongside Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry.

A likely candidate for the NBA’s Most Improved Player award, Siakam saw 36 minutes of action against the Thunder — recording 25 points, five rebounds and two assists on 9-of-14 shooting from the field.

It’s become evident that the Raptors have themselves one of the biggest steals in recent memory since selecting Siakam with the No. 27 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.

Head coach Nick Nurse couldn’t be happier with the New Mexico State product thus far in his NBA career.

“The first thing you saw and I think what got him drafted was just a tremendous motor and energy,” Nurse said earlier this month, per Curtis Rush of Forbes. “He was an energy player. He was long, he was bouncy. He kind of played with a smile of his face. He was up the floor first. All over the place. He played with tremendous juice.”

Siakam is viewed as one of the biggest “bargain” assets in the league, currently playing on a four-year, $6.4 million contract with the Toronto Raptors.

Toronto will likely be the second seed when the playoffs begin in a couple weeks.