Connect with us

Uncategorized

Siakam steps up as Raptors snap skid with win over Kings – Sportsnet.ca

Published

on


SACRAMENTO — The Toronto Raptors aren’t without their issues. They’re young. They don’t shoot the ball very well and they don’t have much in the way of high-end NBA big men.

Meaningful depth has yet to materialize on even a semi-consistent basis.

There are things that can be done to mitigate some of those challenges but none of them can outweigh against one unassailable fact: if Pascal Siakam doesn’t play well and do it regularly, none of it really matters.

Advertisement

It’s just NBA math: there are virtually no rosters deep enough to thrive consistently without their highest-paid player contributing significantly.

Siakam wasn’t exactly invisible in the first five games he had played since he returned from off-season shoulder surgery. He’s had some very nice outings offensively — in losses to Detroit and Portland this week he averaged 22.5 points, nine rebounds and 6.5 assists on 55 per cent shooting. But he seemed heavy-legged — at best — defensively. Too many times he was late to rotate or in the wrong spot or simply not energized enough when he was there as he got turnstiled more than once. Charitably, getting into the kind of shape required to play both ends for 36-plus NBA minutes or more isn’t an overnight thing.

Stream 250+ marquee NBA matchups from around the league, including over 40 Raptors games. Plus, get news, highlights, analysis, select NBA Playoff matchups and the NBA Draft.

But in the Raptors’ loss to the Utah Jazz on Thursday, Siakam was highly visible for how poorly he played: 2-of-14 shooting, four turnovers and seemingly a step slow or worse in every rotation and every transition from offence to defence or vice versa. Given it was Toronto’s first game without leading scorer OG Anunoby — likely to be out of a couple of weeks with a hip pointer – the timing couldn’t have been worse.

Siakam looked shaky enough that I wondered if he might have been under the weather.

Advertisement

“Not that I’m aware of; not that I’m aware of.” said Raptors head coach Nick Nurse before his club took on the Sacramento Kings on Friday. “[But] I talked to him this morning. My take on him right now is sometimes you have a stinker, man. It’s why they made back-to-backs. Flush that one down and let’s go out and get a performance like you know you can play and go after it tonight.”

Sign up for Raptors newsletters

Get the best of our Raptors coverage and exclusives delivered directly to your inbox!

Raptors Newsletter

Please enter a valid email

Thanks for subscribing!

Advertisement
*I understand that I may withdraw my consent at any time.

The Raptors limped into Sacramento having lost six of seven and three straight. Fortunately, the Kings were wobbling as well, having lost five of six themselves, with head coach Luke Walton widely expected to be fired sooner rather than later.

Simply put: the Raptors needed a win, Siakam needed a good game and Sacramento was a good place to reach both goals.

Advertisement

Siakam did his part, and then some as the Raptors (8-9) cruised to a welcome 108-89 blowout win in a game Toronto led by as much as 30 at one point in the second half.

var adServerUrl = “”;
var $el = $( “#video_container-125354” );
var permalink = $el.closest(‘.snet-single-article’).data(‘permalink’);

/*
if ( “1” == true && ‘undefined’ !== typeof window.getIndexAds ) {
var so = {preroll:{1:{1:{siteID:191888},2:{siteID:191889}}}};
adServerUrl = window.getIndexAds( ‘http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=640×360&cust_params=domain%3Dsportsnet.ca&iu=%2F7326%2Fen.sportsnet.web%2FVideo&ciu_szs=300×250&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vast&unviewed_position_start=1&ad_rule=1&vid=6282884237001&cmsid=384’, so, permalink);
} else {
adServerUrl = “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=640×360&cust_params=domain%3Dsportsnet.ca&iu=%2F7326%2Fen.sportsnet.web%2FVideo&ciu_szs=300×250&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vast&unviewed_position_start=1&ad_rule=1&vid=6282884237001&cmsid=384”;
}
*/
adServerUrl = “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=640×360&cust_params=domain%3Dsportsnet.ca&iu=%2F7326%2Fen.sportsnet.web%2FVideo&ciu_szs=300×250&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vast&unviewed_position_start=1&ad_rule=1&vid=6282884237001&cmsid=384”;

$el.after( unescape(“%3Cscript src=”” + (document.location.protocol == “https:” ? “https://sb” : “http://b”) + “.scorecardresearch.com/beacon.js” %3E%3C/script%3E”) );

$( document ).one( ‘ready’, function() {
$( “#video_container-125354” ).SNPlayer( {
bc_account_id: “1704050871”,
bc_player_id: “rkedLxwfab”,
//autoplay: false,
//is_has_autoplay_switch: false,
bc_videos: 6282884237001,
is_has_continuous_play: “false”,
adserverurl: adServerUrl,
section: “”,
thumbnail: “https://www.sportsnet.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/6282884237001-1024×576.jpg”,
direct_url: “https://www.sportsnet.ca/nba/video/siakam-happy-raptors-defended-win-kings/”
});
});

Advertisement

Siakam had already helped the Raptors off to a strong start with a strong first quarter to set the tone, but after halftime, he went for blood, perhaps inspired by the bandage he had to wear after getting his head cut late in the second quarter.

Siakam hit a 17-footer and then stroked a pair of deep threes before the half was two minutes old. Suddenly the Raptors were up by 26 and the blowout was on. Siakam added another trip to the line and another pair of jumpers and suddenly he had 28 points on 9-of-11 shooting, including 3-of-3 from deep and 7-of-8 from the line. He finished with a season-high 32 points on just 12 shots.

It wasn’t just his shooting and scoring, Siakam looked bouncier when he picked up his man just over half. He was quick out in transition. He looked like himself again.

Siakam got Toronto started, but not without some hiccups. He had two turnovers on his first two touches and you had to wonder if it was going to be one of those nights. Again.

But Siakam stepped into a three at the top of the circle; drove the lane and got fouled and seemed to settle down from there. He put the ball on the floor aggressively but was able to adjust when he ran into traffic in the paint and finish with a nice mix of floaters and leaners. He took some easy mid-range jumpers when they were there. Next thing you know Siakam had 13 first-quarter points on four shots and four free throws and the Raptors were up 30-27.

Advertisement

var adServerUrl = “”;
var $el = $( “#video_container-791531” );
var permalink = $el.closest(‘.snet-single-article’).data(‘permalink’);

/*
if ( “1” == true && ‘undefined’ !== typeof window.getIndexAds ) {
var so = {preroll:{1:{1:{siteID:191888},2:{siteID:191889}}}};
adServerUrl = window.getIndexAds( ‘http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=640×360&cust_params=domain%3Dsportsnet.ca&iu=%2F7326%2Fen.sportsnet.web%2FVideo&ciu_szs=300×250&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vast&unviewed_position_start=1&ad_rule=1&vid=6282885782001&cmsid=384’, so, permalink);
} else {
adServerUrl = “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=640×360&cust_params=domain%3Dsportsnet.ca&iu=%2F7326%2Fen.sportsnet.web%2FVideo&ciu_szs=300×250&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vast&unviewed_position_start=1&ad_rule=1&vid=6282885782001&cmsid=384”;
}
*/
adServerUrl = “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=640×360&cust_params=domain%3Dsportsnet.ca&iu=%2F7326%2Fen.sportsnet.web%2FVideo&ciu_szs=300×250&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vast&unviewed_position_start=1&ad_rule=1&vid=6282885782001&cmsid=384”;

$el.after( unescape(“%3Cscript src=”” + (document.location.protocol == “https:” ? “https://sb” : “http://b”) + “.scorecardresearch.com/beacon.js” %3E%3C/script%3E”) );

$( document ).one( ‘ready’, function() {
$( “#video_container-791531” ).SNPlayer( {
bc_account_id: “1704050871”,
bc_player_id: “rkedLxwfab”,
//autoplay: false,
//is_has_autoplay_switch: false,
bc_videos: 6282885782001,
is_has_continuous_play: “false”,
adserverurl: adServerUrl,
section: “”,
thumbnail: “https://www.sportsnet.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/6282885782001-1024×576.jpg”,
direct_url: “https://www.sportsnet.ca/nba/video/siakams-performance-vs-kings-exactly-raptors-needed/”
});
});

One of the problems the Raptors have — and why Siakam turning his game around is so imperative — is that when Fred VanVleet is off the floor, they struggle mightily. According to cleaningtheglass.com the Raptors score 17.4 points more per 100 possessions when VanVleet plays than when he sits. Since he can’t play 48 minutes a night, that’s a problem.

Advertisement

“We’ve got outplayed by the second units a couple games in a row,” said Nurse. “My first answer to that is we need our guys to play better, the guys we’re giving chances to, because they can play better. Our challenge as coaches is to give them confidence to play better …”

That came to pass as well. With VanVleet sitting the first four minutes of the second quarter the Raptors extended their lead with Precious Achiuwa — back from his shoulder injury — Svi Mykhailiuk and Dalano Banton all chipping in.

VanVleet never really got on track offensively, but for once he didn’t need to. Gary Trent Jr. continued his red-hot shooting as he scored 15 points in the second quarter on 5-of-9 shooting and 3-of-6 from deep as Toronto took a 63-45 lead into the third quarter. Trent Jr. finished with 23 points and hit five threes for the second straight game.

It made for the rarest of Raptors wins: one in which VanVleet wasn’t at his best. Perhaps feeling the effects of 35 hard minutes at altitude in Utah on Thursday night, VanVleet made an uncharacteristic seven turnovers to offset his 13 points and six assists. But VanVleet being VanVleet, he still found a way to be one the Raptors’ leaders in plus/minus at +23.

In addition to Siakam finding some rhythm, Trent’s fine play and some bench contributions, the other encouraging sign was the Raptors’ overall defensive effort. They’ve been last in the NBA in defence over the past seven games and had let their last three opponents shoot 54 per cent, 56 per cent and 55 per cent from the floor, respectively.

Advertisement

The Kings might have represented a soft case but the Raptors did give up 127 points to the lowly Detroit Pistons last Saturday, so it’s not like Toronto can’t give it up to a shaky opponent.

In any case, Toronto was better than it has been, holding Sacramento to 38.1 per cent shooting and forcing 18 turnovers.

“The questions [about our defence] are justified because we’ve had three or four or maybe even more games where the defence hasn’t quite been itself,” said Nurse. “That’s a little bit concerning. You say is the effort there? Maybe it wasn’t one game. I think it was other games. There’s a little bit of a lack of chemistry. Moving pieces has a little bit affect it. I think losing our size for a while with Khem and Precious — this is the first time they’ve been back for eight games maybe. One has been out or the other one. That I thought immediately when we had those two guys and they started sharing that possession gave us some good defensive punch with some rim protection. We know we’re capable of it. This group knows we’re capable of it. We’ve got to get back and locked in and get that connectivity that we’ve shown.”

No complaints there on Friday. Birch had four steals and two blocks to go along with his 10 points and nine rebounds in his 23 minutes, and Achiuwa was steady in his 25 minutes after missing three games with shoulder tendinitis.

Improved defence, some strong bench play and a revitalized Siakam? The Raptors couldn’t hope for much more, and the timing is perfect as they head to San Francisco to play the 14-2 Golden State Warriors on Sunday night.

Advertisement



Source link

Uncategorized

How to watch Appalachian State vs. James Madison: NCAA Football live stream info, TV channel, time, game odds

Published

on



Who’s Playing

James Madison @ Appalachian State

Current Records: James Madison 2-0; Appalachian State 2-1

What to Know

The James Madison Dukes watched the action from their couches last weekend, but are set to take to the field. James Madison and the Appalachian State Mountaineers will face off in a Sun Belt battle at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Kidd Brewer Stadium. The odds don’t look promising for the Dukes, but the bigger the opponent is, the harder they fall.

Advertisement

A well-balanced attack led James Madison over the Norfolk State Spartans every single quarter on their way to victory two weeks ago. James Madison claimed a resounding 63-7 win over Norfolk State at home. The game was pretty much decided by the half, when the score had already reached 35 to nothing.

Meanwhile, Appalachian State didn’t have too much breathing room in their contest with the Troy Trojans last week, but they still walked away with a 32-28 victory. Appalachian State QB Chase Brice was slinging it as he passed for two TDs and 279 yards on 34 attempts. Near the top of the highlight reel was Brice’s 53-yard TD bomb to WR Christan Horn in the fourth quarter.

Their wins bumped the Dukes to 2-0 and the Mountaineers to 2-1. Watch the matchup and check back on CBS Sports to find out who keeps up the positive energy and who hits a stumbling block.

How To Watch

  • When: Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Where: Kidd Brewer Stadium — Boone, North Carolina
  • TV: ESPN Plus
  • Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.)
  • Follow: CBS Sports App
  • Ticket Cost: $40.99

Odds

The Mountaineers are a solid 6.5-point favorite against the Dukes, according to the latest college football odds.

The oddsmakers had a good feel for the line for this one, as the game opened with the Mountaineers as a 7.5-point favorite.

Over/Under: -111

Advertisement

See college football picks for every single game, including this one, from SportsLine’s advanced computer model. Get picks now.

Series History

This is the first time these teams have played each other within the last seven years.



Source link

Advertisement

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

UTSA vs. Texas Southern: How to watch NCAA Football online, TV channel, live stream info, game time

Published

on



Who’s Playing

Texas Southern @ UTSA

Current Records: Texas Southern 1-2; UTSA 1-2

What to Know

The Texas Southern Tigers will take on the UTSA Roadrunners at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Alamodome. Texas Southern isn’t favored, but they just beat the odds in their last game, so don’t count them out.

Advertisement

The Tigers kept a clean sheet against the Southern University Jaguars last week and took the matchup 24 to nothing. The squad ran away with 21 points in the first half and mostly just sat on those in the second to pick up the victory.

Meanwhile, it was all tied up 17-17 at halftime, but UTSA was not quite the Texas Longhorns’ equal in the second half when they met last week. The Roadrunners suffered a grim 41-20 defeat to the Longhorns. This contest was a close 17-17 at the break, but unfortunately for UTSA it sure didn’t stay that way. A silver lining for them was the play of RB Brenden Brady, who threw one touchdown in addition to punching in one rushing touchdown.

Texas Southern’s win lifted them to 1-2 while UTSA’s loss dropped them down to 1-2. We’ll find out if the Tigers can add another positive mark to their record or if UTSA can shake off the defeat and take the spring out of Texas Southern’s step.

How To Watch

  • When: Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Where: Alamodome — San Antonio, Texas
  • TV: STADIUM
  • Follow: CBS Sports App
  • Ticket Cost: $69.00

Odds

The Roadrunners are a big 42-point favorite against the Tigers, according to the latest college football odds.

Bettors have moved against the Roadrunners slightly, as the game opened with the Roadrunners as a 44-point favorite.

Over/Under: -110

Advertisement

See college football picks for every single game, including this one, from SportsLine’s advanced computer model. Get picks now.

Series History

This is the first time these teams have played each other within the last seven years.



Source link

Advertisement

Continue Reading

Uncategorized

North Carolina vs. Notre Dame live stream info, TV channel: How to watch NCAA Football on TV, stream online

Published

on



Who’s Playing

Notre Dame @ North Carolina

Current Records: Notre Dame 1-2; North Carolina 3-0

What to Know

The North Carolina Tar Heels will be returning home after a two-game road trip. They will take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Kenan Memorial Stadium after a week off. UNC is expected to win — but not by much — so they will need to come into the game prepared for a fight.

Advertisement

The Tar Heels beat the Georgia State Panthers 35-28 two weeks ago. Among those leading the charge for UNC was RB Omarion Hampton, who rushed for two TDs and 110 yards on 16 carries. Hampton put himself on the highlight reel with a 58-yard TD scramble in the third quarter.

Meanwhile, Notre Dame netted a 24-17 victory over the California Golden Bears last week. RB Audric Estime and RB Chris Tyree were among the main playmakers for Notre Dame as the former punched in one rushing touchdown and the latter snatched one receiving TD.

Notre Dame’s defense was a presence as well, as it embarrassed California’s offensive line to sack QB Jack Plummer six times for a total loss of 47 yards. It was a group effort with four guys contributing.

The wins brought the Tar Heels up to 3-0 and the Fighting Irish to 1-2. A pair of stats to keep an eye on: UNC enters the matchup with 310 passing yards per game on average, good for 21st best in the nation. But Notre Dame comes into the contest boasting the 34th fewest passing yards allowed per game in the nation at 184. These opposing strengths should make for an exciting matchup.

How To Watch

  • When: Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Where: Kenan Memorial Stadium — Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • TV: ABC
  • Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.)
  • Follow: CBS Sports App
  • Ticket Cost: $110.00

Odds

The Tar Heels are a slight 2.5-point favorite against the Fighting Irish, according to the latest college football odds.

The line on this game has moved quite a bit since it opened, as it started out with the Fighting Irish as a 1.5-point favorite.

Advertisement

Over/Under: -110

See college football picks for every single game, including this one, from SportsLine’s advanced computer model. Get picks now.

Series History

Notre Dame have won all of the games they’ve played against North Carolina in the last eight years.

  • Oct 30, 2021 – Notre Dame 44 vs. North Carolina 34
  • Nov 27, 2020 – Notre Dame 31 vs. North Carolina 17
  • Oct 07, 2017 – Notre Dame 33 vs. North Carolina 10



Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Trending