Toronto Raptors Pascal Siakam faced criticism following his team’s playoff elimination
The dream of back-to-back championships for the Toronto Raptors was shattered when they were eliminated from the National Basketball Association (NBA) playoffs during the Eastern Conference semifinals.
After sweeping their first-round series against the Brooklyn Nets, the Raptors lost a heartbreaking Game 7 to the Boston Celtics by a score of 92-87, and were eliminated from the playoffs.
Following the elimination, Raptors player Pascal Siakam was at the centre of discussion and criticism. United States media and Celtics reporters were hard on him, with Siakam even being asked how it feels to be responsible for his team’s loss.
Siakam’s field goal percentage (FG%) this postseason decreased by 7.4 per cent compared to last year’s playoffs where he finished with 47 FG%. He also averaged fewer points per game despite averaging more playing time.
However, he isn’t the only Raptor whose statistics dropped. Team star Kyle Lowry also saw a decrease in his FG%, while Marc Gasol couldn’t match his playing time, points per game or FG% from 2018–19.
Basketball requires passing plays, communication, and a good defensive game to support the offence. It’s fair to mention that a player missed important or even easy shots in key moments. Yet, those failed opportunities are part of a whole.
It would be unfair to blame Siakam’s missed shots, and act like all other Raptors errors didn’t affect the outcome of the game. The point is simple: it’s unfair to say that one person is responsible for all, no matter which sport.
Graphic by Rose-Marie Dion