Can Pascal Siakam Rediscover his Mojo? Phoenix Suns vs Toronto Raptors: Lineup, Preview & Predictions

Published 01/06/2021, 5:00 PM EST
Dec 29, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (43) controls the ball against Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) during the first quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports


A team that lies second in their conference table takes on the team that is 14th in theirs. Fans just a year ago would have thought that the second placed team is the Toronto Raptors of the Eastern Conference and the 14th placed team is the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference table.

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Oh, how the fortunes have reversed. But that is exactly what we love about the NBA. A few trades, here and there; just a single offseason and free agency period can determine the future of a franchise. And that’s what happened here as well.

Dec 14, 2020; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) dribbles up the court during the first quarter against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Phoenix Suns – Preview

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After years of turmoil and lack of playoffs contention, the Suns finally took some action. One of the best free agency periods culminated in them bringing Chris Paul over to their side. Even though he is 35 and a burden on the salary cap, his leadership is invaluable to a team.

Thanks to him and in part Jae Crowder, the team ranks an unimaginable second in the conference with a 5-2 winning record.

Though they oversaw a small blip in the road with their previous game against the LA Clippers, the loss may just may motivate them more to grab a win at home against the struggling Raptors.

Predicted Starting 5 of the Phoenix Suns

Guard – Chris Paul

GuardDevin Booker

Center – DeAndre Ayton

Forward – Jae Crowder

Forward – Mikal Bridges

Toronto Raptors – Preview

This matchup truly mirrors a tale of contrasting offseasons. First, the Raptors lost experienced big men, Ibaka, and Gasol to the city of Los Angeles. Then, they have to play their ‘Home’ games away from home all the way in Tampa, Florida because of COVID restrictions.

TORONTO, ON – February 20: Coach Nick Nurse chats to the media following practice.
The Toronto Raptors held their first practice at the BioSteel centre following their All-Star break. (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

To compound their miseries further, their star player Pascal Siakam is continuing his rotten run from the bubble. He is averaging 17.6 points a game at a poor 40% FG percentage.

Predicted Starting 5 of the Toronto Raptors

Guard – Kyle Lowry

GuardFred VanVleet

Center – Aron Baynes

Forward – Pascal Siakam

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Forward – OG Anunoby

Prediction for Suns vs Raptors

It does not look too promising for the Raptors as the Suns look well-balanced out on the court. Considering their disappointing record, it is difficult to foresee them as the winners.

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Jan 1, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) drives as center Deandre Ayton (22) sets a block against Denver Nuggets guard Monte Morris (11) in the second quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Having said that, one can never discount the heart of a champion. They still possess the winning mentality to turn it around. Whether this will be the match that ignites their desire to win, we will soon find out.

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Bharat Aggarwal

757 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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