Defending champions Toronto Raptors have been knocked out of the NBA playoffs. They forced a Game 7, but could not make the most of the opportunity they got, as the Celtics defeated them by five points. They would have advanced to the Conference Finals had it not been for the awful form of star Pascal Siakam.
During the post-game press conference, Siakam took the blame and admitted he let his teammates down.
“I wasn’t really able to help my teammates,” he said. “I take a lot of the blame. It’s a learning experience. A lot of people go through these moments and I just feel like it’s about responding. What are you going to get from it? Are you going to take it as a learning experience or are you going to feel sorry for yourself?”
Siakam later said that he will fight back to form, just the way he fought for a place in the league.
He said, “I come from a background of always working hard and fighting my way through everything that was thrown at me. I came into the league, wasn’t supposed to be here, but I fought my way here and I proved that I belong, I just feel like this is another step for me.”
Throughout the series, Siakam was terrible. He averaged just 14.9 points per game while shooting 38% from the field and an abysmal 12.5% from the three-point line. Being the best player on the team, they needed him to step up during these big games. But he let them down repeatedly and now they’re out of the Playoffs.
They were on their way to prove that Kawhi Leonard didn’t define the team after he led them to a championship last season. They had an excellent regular season and started the Playoffs well, too. But they couldn’t keep the momentum going.
The Raptors, who already gave Siakam the max contract, will now be in a dilemma. Do they hope he comes around next season or do they look to ship him out now? They were trying to build their franchise around him, but those plans could be halted for now.
Get notified about breaking news and watch highlights on the go; join the Arena on NBA Hoops