The Toronto Raptors have become a force to be reckoned with, and they will only continue to grow stronger. Pascal Siakam is the key player in this growth story as he continues his ascent into stardom. A look at how this team can get even better when it most matters, the NBA playoffs.
The “when is nba playoffs 2021” is the true reason why Pascal Siakam, Toronto could be unstoppable in the 2022 NBA playoffs (and beyond). The Raptors have a lot of young talent and will continue to grow into one of the best teams in the league.
The Toronto Raptors are not a team to be taken lightly. Seriously, don’t: if you’re not cautious, they’ll steal your team’s soul. Since the All-Star break, Nick Nurse’s club has been one of the best in the league. After a shaky start to the season, the club has embraced their eccentric personality and begun to bamboozle the rest of the league with their length.
Most people speak about the Raptors’ defense this season when they talk about the team. Since Nurse’s appointment as head coach in 2018, that has become their calling card. They play smart, strong defense that focuses on reducing paint points and focusing on the opponent’s stars. Their opponents are kept guessing by their frenzied, high-energy, controlled mayhem.
However, focusing on their strong defense may come at the expense of the one thing they’ve done well this season. It’s time to speak about the REAL reason why this Toronto Raptors squad is a legitimate Eastern Conference matchup nightmare.
The real reason why Pascal Siakam and the Toronto Raptors might be unbeatable in the NBA playoffs in 2022
The defense is, without a doubt, outstanding. The Raptors are swift, adaptive, and have a variety of defensive strategies to use against various attacks. However, Toronto’s adaptability on the defensive side of the ball is an underappreciated component of their season. It’s past time to discuss the Raptors’ devastating offense.
The majority of NBA offenses currently use a “helio-centric” strategy. This indicates that these teams feature a single star that handles all of the playmaking, flanked by exceptional role players and/or complementing stars. James Harden’s old Rockets, Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Bucks, and LeBron James’ 2020 Lakers are all instances of this.
While this lineup has been highly successful over the previous several years, it does have one flaw: the lack of a game-changing star. The Raptors… don’t have that kind of star on their roster. Toronto, on the other hand, has chosen to distribute their scoring among their key players. Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent Jr, Scottie Barnes, and OG Anunoby are the players in question.
These five Raptors all have one thing in common this season: they’re all averaging over 15 points per game. Siakam has a 22.8 rating, while Barnes has a 15.3 rating. This has been a recurring theme for the Raptors since Kawhi Leonard’s departure: they were able to accomplish it last season and will be able to do it again this season.
Other teams that depend on a single star may now benefit from this dispersed output as well. The Raptors’ players’ skill sets, on the other hand, set them distinct from the other teams. They’re all capable of scoring on their own in solitude. They are, nevertheless, able to fit into a variety of offensive settings. They may also serve as the offense’s focal point if necessary.
The Raptors are able to avoid staggering their players and surrounding them with less adept playmakers. In theory, they’ll be able to use at least two of these five guys in each lineup, making their bench + one/two starting configurations a lot simpler.
No one player is expected to carry all of the offensive playmaking and scoring responsibilities since all five of them are capable of doing it. As a rookie, Barnes has been particularly remarkable. With his athleticism and playmaking, he carried the Raptors squad at times. Because of his flexibility, the squad could potentially play a two-man lineup with him, Siakam, and VanVleet at any time.
An auspicious sign
The Raptors have earned a reputation as one of the league’s best-run companies in recent years. The hiring of Masai Ujiri as general manager resulted in a significant improvement in the club. He transformed the NBA’s bottom-tier club, managed by Bryan Colangelo, into a top-tier team.
There’s no greater evidence of their winning ways than the Raptors’ recent tendency. Nick Nurse, Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, and OG Anunoby were the only constants over the three seasons we stated above. In 2019, Anunoby did not average 15 points each game, but now he averages 18 points per game.
There’s also the fact that Nurse has been able to smoothly integrate various players into his strategies. Trent Jr. joined the Raptors and quickly established himself as a valuable member of the team. Barnes is in the same boat. Other players who didn’t make the 15-point cut have blended seamlessly into the lineup.
Raptors supporters all across the world are encouraged by this consistency. It demonstrates that no matter who is on the squad, they will always, ALWAYS find a way to score. It also speaks well for their playoff hopes this season: even if one player is benched, there will always be someone to fill in.
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