Pascal Siakam, good in body and mind | NBA

As Jarrett Allen was chosen to replace James Harden for the All-Star Game, there was only one last chance (barring a last-minute injury on Thursday) to see Pascal Siakam in the All-Star Game, like in 2020.

This opportunity was the possible package of Zach LaVine. But ultimately, the rear of Chicago will be well in Cleveland this Sunday. Too bad for the Cameroonian who has been excellent since the end of December with 23.9 points, 9.3 rebounds and 6 assists on average (out of 26 matches).

« Pascal would have been a great addition »assures, as a regret, Nick Nurse for Sports Net. “I think he was a little hurt by the votes, or because he missed a lot of games at the start of the season. He’s phenomenal, he’s been playing like a superstar for a few weeks. Even after the votes ended, he played even better. »

For almost two months, we find the Pascal Siakam before the pandemic. The Cameroonian was having a very big 2019/20 season before being cut off by the end of the season. Because the rest was much more complicated for the strong winger. Already, in the « bubble », he seemed against the current and was never in it. The following season was better, but he still had Covid-19 for three weeks and remained irregular.

“I am physically and mentally fit”

Finally, he injured his left shoulder and thus missed the start of this 2021/22 financial year. Not ideal…

“I went through a lot physically, I didn’t feel the best. I had to take it all back and work on the basics on a daily basis, to make sure I was working on my body well, in order to be as fresh as possible. I feel healthy and that’s the most important thing. I am physically and mentally fit. »

This physical difference can be seen in the effectiveness of the Toronto player. Near the circle, he is much more lethal with 74% shooting success for shots less than a meter away. It also displays 48% success for shots taken between one and three meters from the basket, then 46% between three and five meters. It’s better than last season, where he was respectively 69, 42 and 42% success in these three areas.

Pascal Siakam has also limited his attempts to 3-pts since the start of the season. Sharper in penetration, more skilful too, he found the right balance according to Nick Nurse.

« It’s as if everything had slowed down for him »analyzes his coach. “I think he’s definitely more patient. He does not rush, does not put himself in difficult situations. And when it does, it does a remarkable job of getting out of it. So already he is taking better shots. Then he plays with more physical intensity. We see it, it shows the muscles to make space and score. He’s just in a much better shape physically and mentally, and he hasn’t been for a while. »

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