After winning the NBA championship in 2019 and appearing in an All-Star Game in the 2019-20 season following a strong performance, Pascal Siakam suffered a bit of a drop-off over the course of the next season. Siakam went through shoulder surgery in the off-season and struggled with the effects of contracting COVID-19 as well.
He is now enjoying a bit of a resurgence, averaging 13.0 rebounds over the course of his last 3 games and a large part of that has been thanks to his monster 19-rebound performance against the Clippers on New Year's Eve followed by a 14-rebound display against the New York Knicks on Sunday.
This has some fans referring to him as 'Pascal Rodman', something the Toronto man jokingly addressed after the win over the Knicks on Sunday.
"I heard they're calling me Pascal Rodman out there."
He also spoke about what has led to his excellent rebounding performances, crediting the style that the team have played recently as well as conversations he's had with the Raptors coaches that have prompted him to be more aggressive in going for boards.
"We have a lot more guys that are a threat out there. So they're gonna shoot the ball so somebody's gotta rebound them when they don't make them. I think that I felt like 'hey, why not, just actually try to crash (the glass)' and some nights it’s gonna go my way and some nights it’s not but as long as I'm making the effort, I'm good with that.
"Just a mentality shift in terms of being an all-around player. I feel like I have that ability and not a lot of players have that ability to be able to defend, be able to pass, be able to rebound, and also score."
Siakam has been grabbing 5.0 contested rebounds over the course of his last two games as well, so it's not like he's simply been picking up unchallenged boards. His efforts are leading to more possessions for his team to make the most of and it's no surprise that the Raptors have won both these games against the Clippers and the Knicks.