Pascal Siakam: There is no breathing in this league
Raptors forward Pascal Siakam discusses the lessons Toronto learned after losing to a 76ers team that was missing Joel Embiid.
PASCAL SIAKAM: [SIGHS]
- Pascal, what do you think the difference was between Wednesday's game, where you guys had zero turnovers in the first half to what happened tonight?
PASCAL SIAKAM: Oh, yeah. Well, Maxey had 44. Yeah, I mean, I think that's pretty obvious. Yeah, he was on fire. Credit to him, credit to them.
He play amazing, like just couldn't miss. I think he was like 10 for 10 and 1/2. Kept going. Didn't stop.
So, yeah, obviously, we didn't play our best. But, you know, it was still manageable. But he just kind of took them over the top. He played amazing for them.
- The turnovers, though, what's that for you guys?
PASCAL SIAKAM: Yeah, and I think a lot of them wasn't forced. I mean, obviously, I had five-- how many turnovers is that, five? Yeah, five. Not great. We gotta do better at taking care of the ball.
I think it was a couple of just passing without really looking or whatever. And they did a good job, getting into the passing lanes. And a couple that we had there, I thought the pass went through. But somehow it didn't work out for us.
Yeah, we just-- they was fast in playing transition, all that. We can't play like that. And the East is tough. So every single night, we gotta fight, we gotta be focused, and, yeah, they played well today.
- I imagine you guys come in with multiple game plans, knowing that Embiid is questionable. But finding out as you do-- as we did, 30 minutes before the game that he's not playing, how tough is that to sort of have to segue from a Embiid-centric game plan to--
PASCAL SIAKAM: It's tough. But, hey, it's the NBA, we gotta be ready. I don't think-- that's not an excuse. It is what it is.
He plays. And if he doesn't play, we gotta to shift our mindset to-- I think the coaches prepared us. Again, they played well, like they did all the slips to the room.
They was getting open shots. Again, they executed well. We didn't. And on a night like that, if you do that and then we turn the ball over, it's not a recipe for success.
- How tough is it gonna be for any team to come away from these things with a couple of wins in the two-game sets when you guys were the team in Miami that lost and came back and bounced back and [INAUDIBLE] again today?
PASCAL SIAKAM: Yeah, it's tough. We talked about it. Also, there was like no splits. It was trying to do that. But they-- credit to them. They came back second game, and it was like the situation we were in in Miami. They came out. They played well.
And, yeah, those games are gonna be tough. I said it to the team. It's gonna-- it gives, like, a playoff feel, just 'cause you have those two games. And people are gonna make adjustments.
And then you see the same team twice. So sometimes, if you see them down the line, you get to forget some things or whatever. And it was so quick that it makes it like a playoff atmosphere.
And that's what happened in the playoffs. Some teams come in, they're hot. They score with 30, and then they win by 30 or whatever. And then the next game they lose. So that's the atmosphere we've got to be ready for those games.
- There's obviously a size difference between you and Tyrese, but you both succeed. It's really unique for a person [INAUDIBLE]. Do you think that there's any comparison [INAUDIBLE]?
PASCAL SIAKAM: [SNICKERS] Um--
- Well, yeah--
PASCAL SIAKAM: I mean, I didn't look like him today. I mean, yeah, all the 3's he had. We're not gonna look like that.
I don't know. I can't really-- I couldn't tell you, to be honest. I feel like he's his own player. He's special, fast-- he does things his way, and I do things my way. And, I mean, credit to him today. Like, he went crazy.
- What did you see from Fred today? Obviously, you'd been shooting the ball really well till today. Was it something they were doing or just an off night for him?
PASCAL SIAKAM: I mean, I think, again, we gotta-- he gotta continue to be aggressive for us. Again, that happens. We're not really worried about the shot-making, because he's done that at a high level. And we know he can do that.
So, again, probably one of those nights. I think, like I said, we gotta do a better job, collectively, defensively, 'cause to me, I just feel like the team that we are, somebody can score 2, somebody can score 100. It doesn't really matter.
Once we connect it together as a team, and we play together as a team, it shows. And no matter who's scoring or who's not, we always look like a team. And I think that we didn't tonight 'cause they just played so well.
- You had your toughest stretch in the beginning of the season with some big teams. Do you feel like you can breathe at all now, or is the intensity level gonna be the same?
PASCAL SIAKAM: Yeah, there's no breathing. [LAUGHS] Everyone's getting better, man. The league is getting better. I don't think there's gonna be any night that's gonna be easy for us. And we gotta put that in our minds.
And I think it's great for us that we're coming into the season with those type of games 'cause that just shows like the type of intensity that we're gonna have to have every single night to be able to be successful. So we take the challenge. And it's gonna be tough.
There's going to be some nights where it's gonna be amazing. We're gonna come in here. We're gonna be happy. We're gonna win. And everybody is gonna be smiling. But there's also gonna be nights where you're not gonna play the best.
And we've gotta have the same mentality, the same energy, the same focus no matter what. And I think that's-- that's what we gotta shift that to the next game and come out and try to get a win. That's all we can do.
- Were you able to at least use the stretch as almost a measuring stick, in terms of where you guys are?
PASCAL SIAKAM: I mean, you could say that. But, again, it's like, what, six games in? No, a lot can change through the season. But, yeah, we gotta see where we at as a team.
Those are big games. We play big teams, like, throughout. And we gotta be able to see where we at and continue to get better, improve, and I think we're going to continue to do that, man.
Obviously, we want to-- I wish we were, like, 4 and 1, or whatever. But that happens, man. We lose some games, and we gotta keep fighting.
- DeMar got 20,000 points today.
PASCAL SIAKAM: You mean today?
PASCAL SIAKAM: Yeah.
- On a mid-range shot. [INAUDIBLE].
PASCAL SIAKAM: That's crazy. Nah, that's tough. That's super tough. DeMar is tough. He's always been one of my favorite players, when he was here or wherever he went.
His mid-range and the way he plays the game, man. It's just so beautiful to watch. Yeah, congrats to him.
And, yeah, he deserves it. I'm sure he's gonna score a lot more than that. And, yeah, happy for him.
- Thanks, everyone.