In Friday's win over the New York Knicks, Pascal Siakam had his highest scoring game since coming back from injury.
In 32 minutes of play, Siakam scored 23 points, grabbed seven rebounds, dished out three assists and came up with one block. He shot 9-for-15 from the field and 2-for-5 from 3-point range, his final 3-pointer of the game being the one that sealed the deal.
MORE: Eight thoughts from Toronto's win over New York
After the game, Siakam was asked if it was the best he has felt since returning to the lineup.
"I mean, I don't think I felt my best, but I just think I had a little push, a little bit more - like just in transition, running a little bit more," Siakam responded. "Little things on defence also, moving better.
"I think it's getting there. I don't think my energy has been at the level that I want it to be, but you spend a month without playing basketball. You can't simulate that. There's no way to practice or run or do anything to match the speed of the game. I expected it. I just have to do a better job."
"Got a bunch of guys just going out there and playing hard."- Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) January 25, 2020
Full Scrums | https://t.co/U1A3E2qYCk pic.twitter.com/3xL6DiUrfr
Entering Friday's contest, Siakam was averaging 16.3 points on 43.7 percent shooting from the field and 20.0 percent from the perimeter since returning from injury. Those figures were way down from his season averages of 23.5 points on 45.7 percent shooting from the field and 36.8 percent from the perimeter.
It hasn't stopped the Raptors from winning six straight games, however, tying them with the Miami Heat for the second-best record in the Eastern Conference.
The Raptors have a favourable stretch coming up that could help Siakam regain his rhythm ahead of All-Star Weekend. Following Sunday's matchup with the San Antonio Spurs, the Raptors take on the Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls, four teams with a losing record this season. They will then play the Indiana Pacers, who aren't far behind them in the standings, followed by meetings with the Brooklyn Nets and Minnesota Timberwolves, two more teams that have a losing record.
"It takes time, man," Kyle Lowry said about Siakam after Friday's win. "It takes time to get a rhythm back. He was out a month, and it takes time to get it going again. Once he got going, he's a pretty good player. He's an All-Star starter."
The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.