TORONTO – If Pascal Siakam doesn’t begin the season recovering from off-season shoulder surgery, Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse believes his team will likely feature more than one all-star this season. .
“You know what? I think he’s definitely played at that level, unless he missed a good chunk to start the season,” Nurse said when asked if Siakam should head to Cleveland for the 20th showcase. February or not.
“I always think people start talking about who’s playing well and all that really early and he hasn’t been there so, I think, the only thing that can stop him from being one.”
On Friday, Siakam looked like part of a star as he scored 21 points in the first quarter en route to 33 in the evening, helping the Raptors extend their winning streak to five with a 125-114 win over the Atlanta Hawks .
Siakam also added nine rebounds and fired an effective 11m from the floor as he added another impressive display at Scotiabank Arena.
He has averaged 22.8 points, 9.2 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game with 48.1% shooting since December.
Raptors player (28-23) selected for the all-star game, Fred VanVleet, added 26 points on Friday and 13 assists in Toronto’s sixth win in the last seven competitions.
Although Siakam was not named an all-star on Thursday, when the reserve is announced, it is possible he could still join as an injury replacement for Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant, who are dealing with trauma and are likely to miss the event.
It will be a big deal for Siakam, who has become an all-star in 2020, accompanied by his teammate and friend VanVleet.
“It will be special,” Siakam said. “We don’t have the same journey, but you could say, people from different backgrounds now, that’s just the definition of dedication and hard work. It means everything. It means a lot.”
The Hawks (25-27) point guard, Trae Young, was followed by a 43-point performance in a 124-115 win over the tournament-leading Phoenix Suns the night before with 22 points.
The Raptors last met the Hawks on Monday, leaving with a 106-100 win in Atlanta. However, it’s a different team from the one Toronto faced on Friday as the all-star guard Young wasn’t available to play on Monday.
Both Toronto and Atlanta played into the second night of the confrontation and the fatigue between the two sides showed.
Fortunately for the Raptors, the Hawks appeared to run out of gas sooner as Toronto overtook Atlanta 36-27 in the third quarter.
Toronto had a 96-86 advantage going into the 4th half and, even if it looked like all the basketball Toronto played had caught them in goal, they managed to fight and hold on.
Raptors forward OG Anunoby was brought into Young’s defense late in the fourth half and delivered several big tackles, including one in a three-point effort, to help Toronto win.
“He is a really good defender. That’s just it. There’s no two ways about it,” Anunoby’s nurse said.
“And I thought late (in the game) the coaching staff did a great job and adjusted the play and he saved the shot in the end because we put him in the right place to do it. that. So he’s capable of doing all of that defensively. Inside, outside, interception, theft, etc.”
Thanks to a 33-14 round in the final 8:03 of this period, the Raptors took a 39-28 lead after the first inning.
Siakam dominated early on, gaining 7 to 9 right from the start in the early stages. He scored 14 of his 21 points in a section of the run where he showcased a range of offensive moves including spin jumps, hard drives to rims and even a couple of three pointers from outside the arc.
With Siakam resting a bit to start the second half, the Hawks were able to cut Toronto’s 18-point lead to just one point, leaving the Raptors 60-59 behind in the first half. Siakam finished the first half with 25 points.
Atlanta overtook Toronto 31-21 in the second quarter as the Raptors cooled off from a scorching 68.2% shot from the first quarter.
Friday’s competition ended a three-game home for the Raptors and a game series that saw them play four times in five days.
By taking their 28th win of the season on Friday, the Raptors have exceeded their overall win streak over all of last season.
Next up for the Raptors is a long stretch that will see them play eight of the next nine games on the road, starting with Monday night’s encounter with the Charlotte Hornets at Spectrum Center.
This Canadian Press report was first published on February 4, 2022.
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https://globalnews.ca/news/8597086/siakams-big-first-quarter-extends-raptors-streak/ Siakam’s Big First Quarter Extends Raptors Series