Siakam & Anunoby refining their offensive repertoire before playoffs start
It's been almost three months since Pascal Siakam last picked up a basketball, he told reporters during his Friday press conference. But that doesn't mean the Toronto Raptors' 26-year-old reigning Most Improved Player hasn't been thinking about his season.
Siakam told reporters he's been "reflecting" on how opposing teams have defended him, Blake Murphy of The Athletic reported Friday.
This year has been another step toward stardom for Siakam, who saw his usage rate jump from 20.8% last season to 28.5% this year. That puts him in star status, just ahead of Boston's Jayson Tatum in USG%, per NBA stats.
With that jump in usage, however, has come a slight dip in efficiency. Siakam has seen his True Shooting percentage drop from 62.8% to 55.9% this year, albeit on seven more shots per game.
For Siakam to take the next step he's going to need to show that he can be the team's No. 1 option in the playoffs when opposing teams are keying on him defensively.
One way to ease some of that burden is for OG Anunoby to increase his offensive productivity.
The Raptors' 22-year-old forward is one of the NBA's best defensive players and appeared to be taking a step toward becoming a more consistent offensive weapon just before the season shut down on March 11. He was averaging 15.2 points per game over the Raptors' final five games, including an impressive 32-point performance against the Nuggets on March 3.
He told reporters he's been working on refining his offensive game, according to Sportsnet's Eric Smith.
A quick glance at Anunoby's shot chart shows that he could really benefit from becoming a more consistent shooter on the left side of the court.
If he can add that shot to his repertoire and improve his playmaking off the dribble, Anunoby could help lift some of the burden off Siakam when the playoffs roll around.