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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Raptors won’t lower Pascal Siakam’s load on defense due to larger offensive role

Toronto Raptors big man Pascal Siakam is emerging as a true star player, and the team thinks that he can fully handle the corresponding responsibility.

Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said Friday that he does not plan to lighten Siakam’s defensive workload due to his expanded role on offense, adding that he thinks the 25-year-old is good and young enough to do both at a high level. Nurse also said Siakam would defend Giannis Antetokounmpo for Saturday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks, per Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports.

With Kawhi Leonard now in Los Angeles, Siakam has taken on the lead role in the Raptors offense and run with it. He is averaging 28.2 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game on the young season and is flashing some advanced dribble moves and pull-ups that few players his size have in their bag.

At 6-foot-9 with a 7-foot-3 wingspan, Siakam also has the tools of an impact defender, and he has clearly come a long way since just a few months ago.



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