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'Felt so foreign being at the free-throw line': Pascal Siakam after win vs. Thunder

Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam discusses playing alongside Christian Koloko in one of the hybrid bench groups, coming out aggressive on offence and trying to slow down Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

Video Transcript

- One of the more egalitarian, sort of, even equal, sort of, offensive performances of the year, what was working right to get everybody involved?

PASCAL SIAKAM: Uh, I think, we was just aggressive, making the right plays, and just, kind of, like, taking whatever the defense giving us. And, yeah, like, I think it's-- yeah, it was well balanced and-- and helps, you know, making a little bit of shots and things like that. But I just think that we made the right read.

- Defensively, obviously, you guys were-- you know, had a game plan for Shai. What else did you guys do right to allow you to keep them to 43%?

PASCAL SIAKAM: Yeah. I mean, yeah, he's tough coverage. Obviously, like he do so many things well. And you just got to, you know try your best, you know, show him multiple bodies, and try to make him pass it, you know, cause he's just so dangerous with the ball in one-on-one coverage. So just show the crowd and make it tough.

- [INAUDIBLE] to Christian for-- in those sort of hybrid bench units, played a lot of zone, more effective than the bench units have been in a while. How did it feel out there?

PASCAL SIAKAM: No, it felt good. I think, just, having, you know, again, like, that first unit, we have Jakob. And then, you know, with Christian also, like, it's kind of like that same just having someone that can protect the rim a little bit. And when we play that zone, you know, it's just it's communicating and know that we have someone at the rim, you know, to challenge things.

And, yeah, he's been good every time he's been out there on the floor for most nights. So, you know, and hopefully he's gonna play a little bit more. And I think, for me, like, just being in that-- in our unit and trying to find a rhythm or like how we gonna play, with Will, You know, Gary, and all those guys. So it's good. I think we need more reps, obviously. But I like what we did tonight.

- You seemed really aggressive at the start, especially [INAUDIBLE] the free throw line. Was that, like, your mentality coming into this game?

PASCAL SIAKAM: I think, yeah, I think I wanted to be aggressive. You know, obviously, forgot how to shoot free throws cause I don't think I've been there in so long. It felt so foreign being at the free throw line. But-- but, nah, I just wanted to be aggressive and just play, like, you know, just being decisive, have a little bit more energy. And, yeah, that's kind of, like, what's my mindset.

- How important is it to this team to have nights for you and Fred are clicking offensively?

PASCAL SIAKAM: I think it's good for-- you know, we have to be able to pull games where we all playing well. Cause I know we can do it, we have the personnel to do it. And I think just continue to get better, understanding each other spots, and making sure that, you know, we just play together, communicate. But-- but, yeah, we're gonna need every single person on this team, you know, for us to be able to make a run.

- So few games left in the regular season. What do you feel like is the biggest focus right now for your team [INAUDIBLE]?

PASCAL SIAKAM: I think it's just, like I said, taking one game at a time, continue to communicate. I think that that's the most important thing, just communication, staying together. And-- and, you know, we have, you know, coming into games, you know, follow the game plan. And, like I said, like, the-- when we play together and, you know, we talking, we're communicating, you know, we can do a good job on defense. And then that helps our offense also.

- Shai had that really good first half. What do you feel like you was able to do effectively to start off that game [INAUDIBLE]?

PASCAL SIAKAM: He was just getting into his spots, making tough shots, which he does that. And, you know, like, he's such a tough coverage, like, one on one. And he was able to get away from the help a little bit. And I think that we adjusted well in the second half, just trying to make it a little bit tougher for him and make him pass the ball a little bit more. But, yeah, he's tough.

- [SPEAKING FRENCH]

PASCAL SIAKAM: [CHUCKLES] Um-- [CHUCKLES] Um-- [INAUDIBLE] [CHUCKLES] OK, uh, [SPEAKING FRENCH]

- Merci.