The Toronto Raptors were outplayed by the Boston Celtics from the jump in Game 5, falling 3-2 in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
In a contest where the Celtics got a ton of offensive firepower across their roster with six players scoring in double figures, the Raptors just simply couldn't keep up.
MORE: Celtics dominate Raptors in lopsided Game 5
One of the main reasons of the result is that All-Star forward Pascal Siakam simply has not been himself so far this postseason. Plagued by foul trouble in Game 5 for the third time this series, Siakam was limited in playing time. Field goal percentage-wise, shooting 5-for-9 from the field at 55.6%, it was actaully Siakam's most efficient game of the playoffs. Unfortunately, it only resulted in 10 points as his troubles from the perimeter continued, going 0-for-2 from 3.
"I'm not sure why he's been so out of rhythm since the restart," head coach Nick Nurse said of his budding star forward following the game (per TSN's Josh Lewenberg).
"He hasn't had a lot of great games... It's too bad because he was spectacular in last year's playoffs & he was spectacular all season long. We still have games to go. Hopefully he can get his rhythm."
While it could be seen as a harsh statement, Nurse is just calling it like he sees it.
He did take part of the blame, though, stating, "It's probably squarely on me, first and foremost," in reference to not getting Siakam going early on in games.
But there's no denying that Pascal has looked like a completely different player since the restart.
The 2019 Most Improved Player only averaged 16.9 points while shooting 39.4% from the field during the Raptors seeding games. In the playoffs, those numbers have slightly increased in to 18.0 points per game while shooting 41.1% from the field, but his 3-point shot has almost completely abandoned him at 21.3%.
He just hasn't been impacting games the way he did last playoffs, last regular season or this regular season.
Is it because he's now the No. 1 guy and teams are keying on him a bit more? Is it because there's more film on him after his breakout season and players have learned all of his go-to moves?
While there's no tangible answer to those questions, the Raptors hope that their star forward can shake off everything to this point and put his best foot forward in the next game to try and keep their season alive.
The Raptors will look to force a Game 7 when they take on the Celtics on Wednesday, Sept. 9 for Game 6.
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