Friday, January 28 2022

Toronto is off to an impressive 6-4 start to the season, and the record might belie how well they have played. The Raptors have a top-10 defense this season and have gotten points from OG Anunoby (20.6 points per game), Fred VanVleet (18.7) and an impressive start to his rookie season by Scottie Barnes (17.6).

Now the Raptors are about to get their best player back, with coach Nick Nurse confirming Pascal Siakam will return on Sunday against the Nets.

Siakam, the focus of a lot of trade rumors (that he wanted nothing to do with) this offseason, is coming off a shoulder surgery that sidelined him into this season.

Siakam took a step back last season, he still averaged 21.4 points and 7.2 rebounds a game, but his efficiency slipped from the All-NBA levels of a season before. There were reasons for Siakam’s struggles: Playing the entire season on the road with the Raptors “home” games in Tampa Bay, coming down with COVID-19 during the season, then ultimately the shoulder injury, which came when running into a screen.

Adding Siakam’s defensive versatility and scoring could push the Raptors into the top six in the East by the end of the season, avoiding the play-in. That has to be the Raptors’ target now.

Check out more on the Raptors

PBT Podcast: Future NBA stars NBA Power Rankings: Miami’s shut-down defense vaults them to top spot Three things to know: Damian Lillard continues to struggle, as does Portland

Pascal Siakam to return to Raptors lineup Sunday against Nets originally appeared on NBCSports.com

Source: Yahoo Sports

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