After ending their 12-game winning streak in heart-breaking fashion during their Game 1 match-up against the RGV Vipers, the Raptors 905 looked to redeem themselves as they went back home to Mississauga for a Tuesday night match-up. For the first time in franchise history, the pressure was placed right on the shoulders of the squad as a defeat meant that the Vipers would reign supreme as D-League champs.
Although the 905 would enter game 2 without the services of Axel Toupane and Edy Tavares, they were still lucky enough to have some of the Raptors top prospects. Alongside Pascal Siakam and Bruno Caboclo, who have been with the team since the start of the playoffs, the 905 were able to add defensive-minded guard Fred Van Vleet to their rotation.
While Van Vleet and Caboclo both shined on Tuesday night, the 905 were led by Pascal Siakam, who was just outstanding in the team’s 95-85 victory over the RGV Vipers. In 44 minutes, Siakam put up a career-high 32 points, 10 rebounds, 5 steals and 2 blocks on 12-20 from the field and 7-9 from the FT line.
That terrific performance was just the most impressive example of something that he’s been doing throughout the NBADL playoffs. From the jump, Siakam has just shined as an explosive presence that can just give the 905 an immediate advantage on both ends of the court.
On the offensive end, Siakam was able to shine in a multitude of different ways, from post-ups, mid-range jumpers, on/off-ball cuts to the rim and crashing the offensive glass. Among those skills, his best work is as a low-post threat as Siakam might actually be the finest post-up threats that the league has seen in recent memory. There’s no hyperbole in that statement as Siakam can score in a plethora of different moves whether he’s working on the left or right block.
Coinciding with that work in the low-post, Siakam has stood out as someone that’s just willing to attack the basket whenever he desires. A lot of that work around the rim comes through his work as an on-ball cutter as Siakam is a pretty solid ball-handler for a 6’10,230 pound forward. Alongside that, he can use his strong and athletic frame to just attack the glass, as he collected five offensive rebounds during that Tuesday night victory.
Siakam’s combination of quickness and athleticism has also pushed the Raptors rookie can lay down some filthy alley-oop dunks. Arguably the best example of that was seen on Tuesday night as Siakam did this of a great pass from Fred Van Vleet.
As the Raptors 905 look ahead to the winner-take-all Game 3 on Thursday night, there’s a strong possibility that they might not have Pascal Siakam. That uncertainty is due to the Toronto Raptors facing off against the Milwaukee Bucks in a Game 6 matchup that could seem them move onto the Eastern Conference Semifinals and play against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Will the big league squad want Siakam in Milwaukee to add some front-court depth? Or will they want him in Mississauga to help lead the 905 to a D-League title? I guess we’ll have to just wait to find out.