Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam discusses how he could have changed his approach in Game 3, his confidence in taking jump shots and how the Raptor can come back from a 3-0 series deficit.
- Well, I mean, you just-- I guess, I don't know, today or yesterday, you probably went over the film [INAUDIBLE] second half of that game. And what did you take away from it? What did you like to have done a bit differently?
PASCAL SIAKAM: What, as a team? Or what, with me?
- Yourself mostly.
PASCAL SIAKAM: Yeah, I think-- yeah, I watched the game. I was like, I didn't even realize I took five shots the whole second half. So it was like-- you know, I think for me that was the first thing. Maybe be more aggressive or-- I don't know, just take what the defense gives you kind of thing?
And yeah, I thought we had-- we came out in the second half a little slow. They got a little rhythm, and Embiid got going there. And as a team, we just didn't seem to have-- we were still defending well, I thought. We were still in the game, and we did kind of all the adjustments that we wanted to make in the game. But yeah, just being more aggressive and just taking what the defense gives you basically.
- And did you find they were kind of playing off you a little bit, challenging you to shoot it, and just more a matter of [INAUDIBLE]?
PASCAL SIAKAM: Right, right. I mean, I think, again, you got to take the shots that are there. At the end of the day, I'm going to live with whatever taking the shots that are there and the stuff that I work on. And I think that I just-- I live with the result no matter what. And I think that that's kind of like what it is, just being more in rhythm and just taking what's there and just playing the game the way it comes at you. And I think that that's what I have to be better at. But, yeah, that's for me. That's kind of my takeaway from it.
- Is it hard to balance-- obviously, the team needs you to score, but sometimes Joel is on you, or he's not. He's camping out in the paint.
PASCAL SIAKAM: Right. Yeah, no-- yeah, there's definitely a lot of help. And I think that, again, that's the nature of the playoffs, right? So I think that just understanding the shots that are there for you, taking more of the shots that are there for you.
And then, again, it looks like it's one-on-one, but it's mostly not. You have a lot of help. And I think just making the right play, hitting the open guy or taking the shots are there, I think that's mostly what it is and living with the result, like I said.
- Nick is always talking about the value of getting playoff reps, the playoff experience. And most of the time, he's referring to the younger guys, Scottie and the guys that haven't been through it a lot. You have, but you're still a young vet in this league. How much do you still learn and grow from playing in these high-leverage games?
PASCAL SIAKAM: Right. Oh, no, a lot, definitely a lot. I think that, again, just having a different role or, again, like what I was two years ago is not the same thing I am now as a player. And I think that you command a lot more. And, obviously, for me, I feel like as long as I go out there and I take the shots that I feel like I should be taking and I keep being aggressive, I'm OK with that because I think that everything is always gonna balance out.
And I think that the experience from just being in the playoff, we all learn from it. I think that even players that's-- I don't know. I want to name drop, but like players that's been in the league for a long time, that's been in many playoffs game, I'm sure that there's some series where they learn something about themselves or about their game or how they can evolve. And I think that we all continue to grow as players. And the playoffs is the perfect time for that, to kind of, like, understand different things about your game.
- Pascal, you know Embiid better than anyone in this room. What have you seen from him in terms of just his approach this year? I mean, his drive just seems to be--
PASCAL SIAKAM: No, I think he's playing well. I think he's playing super well, again, from the inside, outside, drawing a lot of attention, so drawing, like, fouls and getting to the free throw line and just all levels of the game. And I think that, again, he's been doing that for a while in the league now. But he definitely has stepped up, like, another level. And, yeah, he's been playing well.
- I think I was kind of asking more about just handling all the attention and the negative attention he's getting and how he's playing through that.
PASCAL SIAKAM: He's getting negative attention?
PASCAL SIAKAM: Yeah? No, I don't-- I literally don't follow a lot of people. I don't know. I'm cool with Embiid, but I didn't know-- I didn't know he was getting-- I don't know what type of attention you're talking about. Like, what-- like, media? What is it? I don't know.
- People. People, the crowd.
PASCAL SIAKAM: Who?
- The crowd.
PASCAL SIAKAM: Oh.
- You hear the crowd the other night?
PASCAL SIAKAM: I mean, like you're away. It's supposed to be like that. [LAUGHS] I don't think Philly has anything personal against me. It's just if we play them, they're gonna boo me. Like-- it is what it is. You know what I mean?
You know what I mean? That's what it is. I don't think it's-- yeah, I don't think it's, like, personal. I mean, if you're playing a little arena, you're gonna get some type of-- like, yeah, that's-- I don't think they were cheering for us when we were in Philly, right?
- Pascal, going into game 4 down 3 might be a little bit daunting, obviously. But is there any sense to just maybe the mindset that you guys have the opportunity to make some history or do something special [INAUDIBLE]--
PASCAL SIAKAM: Yeah, no, I think for us it's like-- again, like, we felt like we were super close last game, and that was an opportunity to get one. But, at the same time, it's one game at a time. That's the only approach we can have. I mean, history is cool, but I think it's this one tomorrow, this is the most important game of our lives, basically.
And I think that that's all that matters. We gotta get that one. And then we gotta think about the rest. The rest will be for, like, after. But I think that just the journey and the season that we had, just all the ups and downs that we had as a team and individually, it's a great opportunity for us to look at ourselves in the mirror and just go out there, give everything that we got, and worry about that one game, right?
And I think that the rest, whatever that happens, we're gonna worry about that then. We got to focus on tomorrow and give it our all and just figure out the rest after.
- Pascal, obviously, Philly as a team has ratcheted up the focus and attention they're giving you. But do you feel like, individually, Tobias is doing anything different than what you've seen before?
PASCAL SIAKAM: Oh, no, I think that, again, like they-- it's-- you get a lot of attention. And I think that always feels like there's help. So I think, for me, I just feel like I just gotta stay aggressive and get to my spots and live with the results. Again, that's-- literally, I feel like I can always get a shot that I want there on the floor. I just gotta do it consistently.
And again, you're gonna make some, you're gonna miss some. It looks a lot better when you make them, obviously. [LAUGHS] So yeah, I just-- it's not like I go out there and I just have a thousand turnovers, and the defense is like doing something crazy to me.
Again, I just gotta take what's out there and, again, live with the result. I sleep peacefully if I do all that, give my all, and take the shot that I know that I can make. And if it happen to go in, that would be good for us. And if not, then it is what it is.
- The mid-range has been a big focus for you. And you were, obviously, passing out a lot in a regular season. Is it like a different step to have that same level of confidence [INAUDIBLE]?
PASCAL SIAKAM: Right. I think, no, it's just-- it's gotta be the same thing. That's the shot that's there most of the time. Obviously, I feel like I can try to probably get to the rim a little bit more. But-- yeah, again, and make the read from there. But at the same time, that's why-- I feel like I've been saying the same thing this whole time. But, yeah, take the shots that are there. [LAUGHS]
- Pascal, when you look back at the winning shot that Embiid hit, what do you see on that play on the video?
PASCAL SIAKAM: To be honest, I really haven't looked at it. Yeah, it's been tough to look at that.
- Some of you-- you were in the moment. Was there something you guys could have done better, do you think, or--
PASCAL SIAKAM: I mean, I think for me, I think that it happened. Again, we can't go back to that, and there's nothing we can do about it. We can't change it. Obviously, we just gotta focus on the next game. And again, if we get in that situation, I'm sure we'll do better.
- Pascal, [INAUDIBLE] how different does it feel with your role with the way they're helping and defending you compared to when Kawhi was here, and he was getting all that attention? How is the defense [INAUDIBLE]?
PASCAL SIAKAM: I mean, I think that, again, is-- you get attention. If you look around the league, all the main players on every team are getting the same attention. People are sending bodies at you.
And it's not gonna be-- it's not gonna be easy. You're not gonna have clean looks most of the time. But I just think that-- yeah, I think for me it's just continuing to get better, continuing to evolve. And, again, like I said, I think the main thing is like whatever is there, you have to take that, whatever the defense is giving you. And I think that making the right play, making the right call, and everything is again you're gonna get three or four people on you, like, when you drive. So it's like, you have to make the next play.
- Last question in French for you, Pascal.
- [SPEAKING FRENCH]
PASCAL SIAKAM: [SPEAKING FRENCH]
- [SPEAKING FRENCH]
PASCAL SIAKAM: [SPEAKING FRENCH]