After a huge performance in a Game 1 win, Raptors rising star Pascal Siakam experienced some struggles in the team's Game 2 loss.
Philadelphia adjusted to Siakam's stellar play in the series opener by guarding him with All-Star centre Joel Embiid and, as NBA.com's Scott Rafferty noted, backing off of him defensively to give him a runway, but clog the paint.
While Toronto's third-year forward finished the game with 21 points, he was just 9-for-25 (36%) from the field and 6-for-17 when guarded by Embiid.
At shootaround prior to Thursday's Game 3, Siakam told reporters that his offensive woes are a product o his being impatient: "I gotta be more patient … I get excited when I feel I have space, so I've gotta calm down and just take my time." Siakam continued, adding that "I think the biggest thing is to keep consistently moving because I know it's gonna help. I'm sure I'll do better."
With patience comes better decision-making, something that the 25-year-old said will better prepare him to pick his spots within the team's offence: "I gotta continue within the offence and just understand it, pick and choose when to attack and things like that."
Improvement has been a constant for Siakam, who is on record sharing that he began playing basketball just seven years ago.
It should come as no surprise that the Raptors' candidate to win the league's Most Improved Player Award is still learning and growing on a daily basis, including lessons the pace at which he plays: "I always feel like I just wanna go, and that's something that I'm learning every day - understanding to think more instead of just going because I see an advantage or I see that 'oh, I can make this move, I can make this shot'…"
Siakam reiterated the importance of staying within the flow of the offence to make things happen through patience, saying "you can do something else [other than score] and continue to play within the offence and maybe after that do something."
As Toronto looks to regain control of the series, Siakam's patience and adjustments to Philadelphia's defence will be critical to the team's success.