Facing a 3-2 hole in the Eastern Conference-Semis, the Toronto Raptors are going to have to dig deep and overcome great odds if they want to keep their season alive after Game 6.
As they scramble for answers, it seems the team has resorted to calling out their own players to the media with the hope that it might spark some life.
Following their blowout loss to the Celtics in Game 5, Raptors coach Nick Nurse had this to say about Pascal Siakam (his team's best player):
“I’m not sure why he’s been so out of rhythm since the restart. He hasn’t had a lot of great games,” Nick Nurse said of Pascal Siakam, per Josh Lewenberg of The Sports Network. “It’s too bad because he was spectacular in last year’s playoffs and he was spectacular all season long. We still have games to go. Hopefully he can get his rhythm.”
Siakam has been a key component to the Raptors' success this past season, and he is viewed by many within the organization as the next leader of their franchise.
But if Toronto is to win another title, they will need Siakam to step up in the playoffs. In this series, against the Celtics, he's putting up just 16.9 points compared to the 23.6 points he was averaging before the restart.
The Raptors need him to play better, and they seem to be taking all avenues to try and bring out his best.
We'll see how he responds in Game 6 on Wednesday.