Struggling in the NBA Eastern Conference standings, the Toronto Raptors are hoping their two most recent performances will be the defining moment in a season that's been slow to get on track.
• Read also: The 76ers ruin the Knicks' Christmas
• Read also: NBA: Will James Harden return to Houston?
With a 15-18 record, the roster led by head coach Nick Nurse sits 10th in the East heading into Tuesday's visit from the Los Angeles Clippers. So far, some elements are having trouble, including Scottie Barnes. The rookie par excellence of the 2021-2022 campaign lost feathers in the column of statistics: among other things, he averaged 14.6 points per outing this year, compared to 15.3 in the previous calendar.
Fortunately for Nurse, there is Pascal Siakam who delivered an exceptional performance by totaling 52 points, Wednesday, against the New York Knicks. The Cameroonian became the fifth player in franchise history to reach the age of 50 in one game, contributing to the first of two consecutive wins for his team. He just might be the catalyst the Raptors are looking for so much to get back on track.
“I have to continue to work on this aspect and continue to improve and grow, admitted to the daily “Toronto Star” the author of nine assists on Friday, referring to his qualities as a passer. I have to try to control the game and figure out what I can do. It's not just about scoring points."
"It's passing the ball around, trying to get some rebounds and involving my teammates in the action. I feel a progression in this facet of the game,” he added.
This enthusiasm for his potential seems to give Siakam leadership qualities, since the enthusiasm has recently transferred to his accomplices. Everyone hopes the trend will continue after the Christmas break.
“He is always ready to put the ball back. Most nights, he gets his big share of assists by making the key plays and being selfless in those important moments. We have often talked about it and he leads by example,” said Fred VanVleet.