Siakam Returns, but Toronto Raptors Outlasted by Powerhouse Nets
Pascal Siakam is back!
Despite a disappointing loss to the powerhouse Brooklyn Nets, the Toronto Raptors saw the return of their All-Star forward who has missed the start of the season while rehabbing from offseason shoulder surgery.
In his season debut, the 27-year old scored 15 points on 5-for-12 shooting, while grabbing four rebounds in 25 minutes of play. Although still playing off some rust, Siakam was very happy to be back on the floor and understands that it’ll take some time for him to regain his in-game conditioning and form.
“I tried hard not to make it a big thing. Today I was laughing on Open Gym [the Raptors in-house documentary crew] because I was telling them I don’t want to make it a big deal, and then [they came] to my house and filmed me going all the way to the arena,” said Siakam following the 116-103 loss. “So, I tried not to but I know how important it is, and obviously I’m super happy and super excited to be back in Toronto.
“It’s been so long, playing in this arena, and just playing with my teammates and seeing the fans, so yeah, it was a great moment and obviously wanted to get a win. But it is what it is.”
It was truly a long road back for Siakam and seeing him back on the floor was the most important takeaway for the Raptors on Sunday night.
“[It] felt good, felt good, again, [for] the first time in a long time,” Siakam said. “I just think [I’ve] been through a lot. I remember when [Raptors vice president of health and performance Alex McKechnie] was telling me, ‘Oh, you have to get a surgery,’ and it was like my first surgery, obviously [I was] super scared. I remember crying.”
“I don’t think I’ve cried like that since my dad passed away, I think just because of the season that we had [in 2020-21]. I just wanted to go back into the summer, I had so many things I had planned, and it just felt like another blow, like you have to get through surgery, talking about six months, [it was] just really tough moment for me and I remember thinking it was the end of the world.
“Obviously, I know people go through a lot more or a lot more difficult situations, but it was just tough and I was just really sad and devastated.”
The Raptors had four other players in double figures with Fred VanVleet leading the way with 21 points and eight assists. OG Anunoby scored 16 points of his own, while Gary Trent Jr. and Precious Achiuwa added 14 and 13 points apiece. The Raptors were able to take a lead into the second half, but were ultimately unable to fight off the Nets superstar duo of James Harden and Kevin Durant.
The Raptors will now get an extra day off before they look to get back into the win column as they take on the Boston Celtics on Wednesday.