When Toronto won the title in 2019, fans realized one thing.
No, it’s not that Kawhi Leonard is one of the greatest Raptor in franchise history, even though he was a one-season rental.
It’s definitely not that Nick Nurse is one of the most talented coaches in the league.
The big realization was that Pascal Siakam had the potential to be the star to put Toronto in a position to be a title contender or at the very least be a high-level playoff team for the next few years.
During their championship year, the Cameroonian big-man went from being the third option next to Kyle Lowry during the regular season to the second-best player on team during the playoffs.
Siakam averaged 16.9 points, 6.9 rebounds in 54.9% shooting during the 2018-19 regular season, but he improved his performance in the postseason by putting up 19.0 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists in 47.0% shooting at the field.
In the Finals, against Golden State and one of the best defenders in the league today Draymond Green, he averaged 19.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.6 assists while shooting 50.3%.
Siakam made his name known and when Leonard left for the next season, the 26-year-old forward showed brilliance.
During the 2019-20 season, with Siakam being the main guy, he flourished and averaged 22.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists and was selected for his first All-Star game and his first All-NBA second team.
The Raptors finished that season as the second-seed with a 53-19 record but Siakam failed to show up in the playoffs. In his first post-season as the main guy, Siakam only averaged 17.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists and shot 39.6%.
After being favored to be one of the teams that could compete in the East Finals. Toronto failed to show up and only reached the conference semis and a big reason behind it is the passive performance of Siakam in the playoffs.
Fast forward to this season and it seems that heading into the half-way mark of the season, Siakam is yet to have his spice back.
The 6’9 forward is having a slow start this season, only averaging 19.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, 4.6 assists on 45.2% shooting. That is far from what is expected of someone who got a max contract extension.
He’s only the second-best scorer on the team behind Fred VanVleet, who’s averaging 20.4 points. Siakam is focusing more on being a big that can facilitate rather than using his size and arsenal to become like Giannis Antetokounmpo and dominate using his length and size.
His best game so far came not too long ago against Orlando where he dropped 30 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and three steals to take the blowout win. He’s got to consistently have more games like that if he’s going to earn his money.
Toronto is currently outside of the playoff picture with a 9-12 record and without the heat of Spicy P, they’re primed to have another disappointing run.
Do you think Siakam can get his spice back? Sound off in the comment section!