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Can Nick Nurse help Pascal Siakam Reach Super-Stardom?
Pascal Siakam has been progressing pretty much every year of his career. Can he make the leap in 2022-23 and become a top-5 player?
Pascal Siakam wants to be a superstar.
He was the Most Improved Player in 2019. He was an NBA All-Star in 2020. And he was an All-NBA player in 2020 and 2022.
He has achieved a lot in his six-year career but he wants to do more. He wants to continue to progress.
During Media Day earlier this week, Siakam said that the next step he wants to take is to become a top-five player.
Via The Sporting News:
"For me, after the year that I had, I just feel like there's so much things I can get better on, and for me, the next step, like I've been All-NBA, I've been an All-Star. I want to be a top-five player in the league. I want to be one of the best, and I will do everything that I can to work towards that.”
Entering the top 5 is no easy task, but it can be done.
However, being one of the top players in the league isn’t just a single, solo task. You need help from your teammates and coaches.
So, here’s my question: can Nick Nurse help Siakam become a top-five player?
Nurse is one of the smartest coaches in the league. His intelligence is one of the reasons why the Raptors won the title in 2019 -when he was a rookie head coach.
Hence, it is possible for him to help Siakam reach his goals, especially since he’s willing to accept his flaws and make changes.
During Media Day, Nurse said that he worked out some of the team’s flaws over the offseason and changed up the game plan a little bit.
"I'm not saying we're going to totally leap back to the philosophical on-paper shots spectrum. What I do hope is that we hammer the front end of it, right? I hope we hammer the free throws and the getting to the rim more. I want to be better at that part of it because that part, it's like NFL football — you've gotta run a little bit, you've got to run the ball a little bit to open up the pass, and I think getting to the front of the rim opens up the 3 ball and we certainly want our share of catch-and-shoot 3s.”
I can see Siakam thriving in this system.
Since he is a good inside scorer and passer, I can see him attacking the basket and shooting -as he has been doing- or kicking the ball out to an open teammate if the defence cuts him off (or double-teams him).
Additionally, I can see him being the catch-and-shoot guy as many of the Raptors are mobile and can attack and kick. And Siakam has been working on his perimeter shooting.
In 2020-21, he averaged 29.7 percent from three. In 2021-22, he averaged 34.4 percent.
In an idealistic world, playing this way will bump Siakam’s numbers up.
Siakam is a talented player. He is definitely one of the best players in the NBA.
But can he become a top-five this season?
Only time can tell.
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