Siakam’s Slow Start: Raptors’ Coach Optimistic About Improvement
While his teammates Scottie Barnes and OG Anunoby appear to have quickly adapted to new Toronto Raptors coach Darko Rajakovic’s offensive system, Pascal Siakam is taking a little longer to find his rhythm. However, his recent double-double performance of 31 points and 12 rebounds in the victory against Dallas on Wednesday is a promising sign of progress.
Adjusting to a New System
Prior to the win, Siakam had been averaging just 15.4 points and 6.1 rebounds, shooting 41.2% from the field in the Raptors’ first seven games. These figures are significantly lower than his previous seasons’ statistics. Rajakovic, who expressed confidence in Siakam’s ability to bounce back, anticipated a strong performance from the talented forward.
Coach Rajakovic’s Perspective
“It’s still early in the season, and we have implemented a different style of play,” stated Rajakovic. “Siakam is currently making adjustments and trying to make the right decisions on the court.” The Raptors coach emphasized Siakam’s unselfishness and willingness to involve his teammates, which has affected his own scoring aggression. Rajakovic revealed that he has been working closely with Siakam, encouraging him to be more assertive and take charge of scoring opportunities. The coach remains optimistic that Siakam will soon regain his form.
Season Start and Contract Situation
Currently, the Raptors hold a balanced record of four wins and four losses at the beginning of the season. Siakam, on the other hand, faces the possibility of becoming an unrestricted free agent next summer if he fails to secure a contract extension by then. This situation is also shared by Gary Trent Jr. and Anunoby, who may exercise his player option for the 2024-25 season.
(Cover photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)