RAPTORS BLOG: Back to a historic month for Pascal Siakam

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The Woz Blog is back after a week off for good behavior.

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What did we miss? Four straight Raptors wins at the end of March, for one.

And what an absurd month it was for Pascal Siakam, in particular.

But you already knew that. A whopping 16 games, including 11 wins for the Raptors, averaging 25.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 52.2% shooting, including 42.6% three-point accuracy, as well as an infernal defense of Siakam.

It all added up to an almost historic month in my long run (we’re over a decade away from documenting all three stars of the Raptors games at this point) hallmark of this space. Kyle Lowry, coincidentally back in town on Sunday, has most of the monstrous months and I believe Siakam had another earlier this season, Kawhi Leonard another during his season here, although his absences from the roster hurt him there.

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Players get three points for being named first star, two for second and one for third, meaning the maximum Siakam could have claimed was 48 points in his 16 games. He had 27 points, 11 ahead of Scottie Barnes. Fred VanVleet’s frequent absences certainly helped, but Siakam was the best player on the pitch by my super-scientific analysis in five of 16 games (and opponents can and usually are named stars of the game too) and finished second five times.

For the season, Siakam now has a three-star lead over the other Raptors that even Lowry would be proud of.

Only Siakam, LeBron James, Nikola Jokic, Dejounte Murray and Luka Doncic managed to average at least 25 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists in March (Kevin Durant was the only other player to average at least 25, 7 and 5). He’s going to be there in the All-NBA vote, although it will be harder for him to do so if one of the MVP candidate centers (Jokic or Joel Embiid) makes the first team as a forward (or if Doncic makes a team as a striker and not a goalkeeper).

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ANCIENT RAPTOR OF THE NIGHT:

Jonas Valanciunas:

The big man once told me that as a young player he was most looking forward to facing Dwight Howard when he entered the NBA. Well, JV kicked Howard’s butt, scoring 17 points, adding 12 rebounds and 6 assists in a victory for New Orleans that essentially cemented a trip to the play-in. He added six assists against the brutal Lakers.

CANADIAN(S) OF THE EVENING:

Oshae Brissett:

The Toronto native made four three-pointers, which he’s only beaten once this season and three times in his career, and had 17 points against the NBA-leading Boston defense.

The rebuilding Pacers have Brissett on one of the most valuable contracts in the entire league. He owes less than $2 million for next season and then the team will have Bird Rights in case he continues to improve and is in demand. He’s a rare case of one the Raptors let loose and averaged 12.9 points and 6.9 rebounds as a starter in 30.4 minutes per game.

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And we’ll add Dillon Brooks, who scored 30 goals and had 7 assists in a massive win over NBA leaders Phoenix. How fun would a series between these teams, featuring healthy superstar point guards, be?

A great evening indeed for two of Canadian agent Mike George’s clients.

CHOOSE THE WATCH:

Keeping track of the pick Toronto hands out to San Antonio (from the Thaddeus Young trade) and the pick they’ll get back from Detroit.

Before Saturday’s games, Toronto would send the 19and or 20and choose in San Antonio (he must have been 17and before this winning streak) and recover either the 33and or 34and Detroit pick (the Pistons continue to win, but most likely that pick will be between 31 and 34. (as noted many times, in the now unlikely event Toronto is in the playoffs and does not qualify for the playoffs, he keeps the pick and sends another one next year but still gets Detroit’s second round).

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At worst for the Raptors, they’re looking at a 17-pick drop. More likely it will be 13 places.

THREE STARS AGAINST. MAGIC

1 OG Anunobia

2Scottie Barnes

3 Fred Van Vleet

Summarizing the matches I was absent for:

THREE STARS AGAINST. CAVS

1Pascal Siakam

2 Chris Boucher

3 Evan Mobley

THREE STARS AGAINST. PACERS

1Pascal Siakam

2Scottie Barnes

3O Shae Brissett

THREE STARS AGAINST. CELTIC

1 OG Anunobia

2Pascal Siakam

3 Smart Marcus

THREE STARS AGAINST. WOLVES

1 OG Anunobia

2 Gary Trent Jr.

3 Scottie Barnes

THREE STARS FOR MARCH:

Pascal Siakam27 points

Scottie Barnes 16

Gary Trent Jr 7

OG Anunoby 6

Malachi Flynn 5

Precious Achiuwa 4

Fred VanVleet 3

chris butcher 2

THREE STARS FOR THE SEASON (excluding April 1)

Pascal Siakam 88 points

Scottie Barnes 54

Fred VanVleet 51

Gary Trent Jr 31

OG Anunoby 27

Precious Achiuwa 13

chris butcher 9

Malachi Flynn 6

Yuta Watanabe 3

Dalano Banton 2

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