The Raptor Report: The Rise of Siakam

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Embrace others for their differences, for that makes you whole.

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A Journey That Makes You Whole

Pascal Siakam’s journey to the NBA is a motivational story. You can check out the details of the Siakam story at ‘Open Court.’ In short, Siakam grew up playing Soccer and 10 years ago he was studying to be a Priest.

It is amazing, because of Siakam’s God-given talent and athletic ability, he was persuaded to try out Basketball. It started out with Pascal attending former NBA player Luc Mbah a Moute’s basketball camp, for fun. He caught someone’s attention, and the following year he was invited to a Basketball Without Borders Camp in South Africa. He only took the invite, because it gave him an opportunity to visit his sister there. With all this going on, Pascal Siakam’s father encouraged him to pursue this avenue of basketball, and that was his motivation to continue with it. Siakam had limited college offers, but the New Mexico State Aggies gave him his opportunity.

Unfortunately, his great motivator, his father had passed away. Siakam has wanted to make his father proud ever since, and all of his accomplishments and success’ are dedicated to him. The journey of Siakam’s life is an inspiration to many. His personal motivations and the process of his journey created many broken pieces in his life. It is also what has now made him whole, and helped him to excel. The rise of Siakam is a beautiful success story from Basketball Without Borders, please check them out.

A Piece of the Puzzle


When you are putting together a puzzle, the first step is looking at the picture on the outside of the box. The second step is finding a corner piece, and continuing on from there. For every spot in the puzzle, there is only one piece that fits, and that is exactly how the Toronto Raptors work. You have two of your corner pieces in President Masai Ujiri and his team & the coaching staff led by Nick Nurse. Two more corner pieces are the All-Stars Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam. Every other Raptor plays a pivotal role in making the Raptors team a beautiful complete picture. From all different backgrounds and up-bringing’s the Toronto Raptors are put together, with very few weaknesses.

The biggest critique of the Raptors is that they don’t have anyone to replace the presence of Kawhi Leonard. To most, that has left a huge whole in the puzzle. In the previous ‘Raptor Report: Skeptics and Supporters’ I referred to the critiques doubt of the Raptors, is actually their doubt in the emergence of Pascal Siakim.

Siakiam’s Fellow Cameroonian

Pascal Siakam’s fellow Cameroonian Joel Embiid, has coined the term ‘Trust the Process’ with the Philadelphia 76ers. Embiid has so much promise as the league’s most dominant ‘big man’. He has had a career riddled with injuries and underwhelming outcomes. Yet, Embiid still tells the world to continue to ‘Trust the Process’. To me it’s extremely annoying, but probably a true statement.

Joel Embiid shows flashes of being the most dominant player on the floor. The reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo’s head-to-head battles with Embiid are actually pretty even. Giannis is the front-runner for MVP again, and the evidence dictates that he’s the most dominant player in the NBA. Embiid and Giannis have out-played one another in many head-to-head matchups throughout their career. Giannis currently has the most recent victory, last week, as the Bucks dominated the Sixers 119-98. Embiid ruined Giannis’ Christmas day as the Sixers defeated the Bucks 121-109.

Joel Embiid should be the most dominant center in the league and should be in the MVP conversation every year, but he isn’t. To Embiid, when he says he is the best in the world, he does have some validity. When he compares himself in head-to-head matchups with Giannis we see a balance of power. The problem with Embiid is that he lacks consistency, struggles with injuries, and some question his drive & work ethic.


For Siakam It’s Not Just ‘Trust the Process’

With all this being said, I do not care whether Joel Embiid is going to fulfill his potential or not. I also do not care whether people believe in Embiid and ‘Trust the Process.’

There has to be more than just a saying of ‘Trust the Process’. There has to be evidence of a drive to be the most dominant and clear growth in a player. We haven’t seen this from Embiid this year, as he is down in almost every statistical category. I believe, alongside trusting the process you need to adapt, work extremely hard, and believe in yourself. After nalyzing ‘the process’ of Embiid, these are my observations:

  • Pascal Siakam has the drive & work ethic to continue to become a part of the NBA elite.
  • The NBA today is moving away from the traditional ‘big man’ role in basketball, which does not favour Joel Embiid.
  • Siakim has grown his skillset in such a way, that he is the perfect definition of the NBA’s new era of the ‘big man’ role.
  • The era of the ‘big man’ role DEFENSIVELY is still being able to defend at the rim. They also need to defend guards on the perimeter, the way Siakam does.
  • OFFENSIVELY, the ‘big man’ needs to be able to do all the skills of a traditional point guard. They also need to be able to shoot from behind the arc with consistency. They need the ability to score consistently inside the paint, which Siakam does and continues to improve in all areas.

The Next Step in the Siakam Process

Each year, Siakam has grown tremendously as he went from the M.I.P last year, to an All-Star Starter this year. After the All-Star break, Siakam is showing the world he is taking the next step. He has shown great aggressiveness in scoring the basketball, while still stuffing the stat sheet. The first game after All-Star break, the Raptors defeated the Phoenix Suns 118-101. Siakam poured in 37 PTS, 12 REBS, 3 AST, 3 BLK, and lead them to a convincing victory.

On Sunday, the Raptors dominated the 6th seed Pacers 127-81, with a hot start from Siakam, Lowry, and Ibaka. Siakam set the tone, with his convincing play on both ends of the floor. He finished with 21 PTS, in only 30 minutes.

Siakam is looking to lead the Raptors into the playoffs and has already established his dominance on both ends of the floor. Trusting the Siakim process is something all Raptors fans need to buy into. The blind and biased American media will never truly believe in the Toronto Raptors, until they are proven wrong.

For example, an American news channel reported, if Giannis Antetokounmpo can survive the cold weather in Toronto, he will sign with the Raptors when he hits free agency. The brilliance of the American news network shines brightly. If you don’t see the issue please Google the temperature in Milwaukee, and Toronto.

The Raptor Report: This Week’s Hot Take




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