Pascal Siakam praises how Raptors pulled together without Fred VanVleet

Pascal Siakam has plenty of credit to pass around to his teammates for stepping up in the absence of their star point guard in Game 5. He also discussed Toronto’s team defense, Thad’s game, OG’s work ethic, Precious’s development, and more. Follow our Raptors coverage all season long on Yahoo Sports Canada.

Video Transcript

PASCAL SIAKAM: Obviously, he's a big part of what we do as a team, and we definitely need him out there. And I think that it's just kind of being, like, the story of the season for us. Like, we got a lot of guys in and out of the lineups, and we always kind of, like, figure it out. Like, everyone coming in. Guys stepping it up. You know, like, we have-- we got a good solid game plan. Guys coming off the bench, executing the game plan, and-- and everyone kind of, like, stepping up the level a little bit. Like, I think that that's what it kind of forces us to do with such a big part of our team being out.

- [INAUDIBLE] it's like you [INAUDIBLE]

PASCAL SIAKAM: I think, you know, we're just trying to be aggressive. I think, like, that's the-- that's the main thing. I think he's such a focal point of the offense that, you know, we've got to try to make just as much as he makes-- he make us work on the other side, we've got to make him work, too, so I think that's kind of like basically what it is.

But at the same time, we know how dangerous he is, and he's such a presence for them on both sides of the floor. So I think, today, yeah, it worked out for us. We just got to go back, see what we can do better and how we can adjust, and continue to just improve.

- I asked Pat about the way you guys were able to respond to runs, and obviously, he's got a lot of familiarity with this building and this crowd. But you played here playoff games, this year, 2019. How important is it to take a crowd like this up a game and make sure that you guys are responding to those runs?

PASCAL SIAKAM: I think it's just focus on this. I think, before the game, you know, I told all the guys, like, again, it's going to be loud in here, you know. But at-- at the end of the day, we got to listen to our voices. Like, the guys out there on the floor, the guys on the bench, and you know, communication.

And it's like, communication is not just only, like, telling your teammate that you messed up a play or anything. It's just like, you know, like, we've got to stay together. They're going to make runs. They're going to score. The crowd is going to get loud.

But as long as we locked in, and you know, I'm looking my teammate in the eye, and he know that, you know, like, I got you or whatever, like-- and if we made a mistake, you know, talk it out and just continue to move on. I think that that's what we did tonight. You know, it wasn't always pretty, but I think that we figured it out, and just everyone was locked in, and we focus on ourselves.

- On that-- on that note, could you-- could you talk about [INAUDIBLE] why were you guys able to be so [INAUDIBLE]?

PASCAL SIAKAM: I mean, I think we did-- I think we did a pretty good job. I mean, I think, for me, like, again, like, just trying sometimes, you know, kind of like take that pressure a little bit, you know, making sure that everyone is calm, you know, bringing the ball up and, you know, calling something or even, you know, you'll see Coach out there on the sideline you know, just-- just racing and making sure they get us into something.

And I think that, as long as we do that, and we just don't, you know, like, with them making-- making shots and just come up and do whatever, I think we'd be OK. Just kind of like pacing ourselves and making sure that we get into something because, at the end of the day, if we do that, we're going to have a chance to support, like, every time down the floor. And we just have to do it.

- How much [INAUDIBLE] kind of scary [INAUDIBLE] succeed in the [INAUDIBLE]?

PASCAL SIAKAM: Yeah, you know, [INAUDIBLE] gave us [INAUDIBLE]. I think early on in the game, he was getting to spots, making shots, and you know, I think he just focused on defenses there. And-- and you know, we gonna need him to be [INAUDIBLE] when he's aggressive, he's good for us.

He helped us. He opened the floor for all of us. I mean, me, OG or even Scottie. So yeah, it's definitely good to, you know, and I think that we got to, you know, continue to, you know, get everyone going when we're looking down the floor. It was like, everyone contributed, and I think that that's what we need.

- [INAUDIBLE] certainly, the series. You're down 0-3, [INAUDIBLE] how you guys are right now as opposed [INAUDIBLE]

PASCAL SIAKAM: I think we're the same. I think-- I think, for us, is just, like, again, obviously, the first three games didn't go the way we wanted to, but I think one thing that I can say is that, you know, everyone-- you know, we went to the drawing board. You know, we got a lot of film session. We-- you know, we try to make adjustments and stick to the game plan.

And I think that our effort kind of got better. That's pretty much what it is. Like, just having more effort and being decisive in what we're doing, following the game plan, and-- and again, just like, knowing, you know, if we do that, we're going to live with the results.

- [INAUDIBLE]

PASCAL SIAKAM: Yeah, he's been-- he's been huge for us, you know, both ends of the floor. Like, obviously, like, guarding and [INAUDIBLE] a team job, but-- but at the same time, you know, he's a [INAUDIBLE] defender out there, and he's guarding Harden. He's, like-- he can guard anybody, and I think that, you know, that's huge for us.

And then on offense, just taking the shots that's there. Most of the time, if you have the five-- the five on you, you know, you're going to have shots. Like, being ready to take them, and he's been doing that.

- Thank you. We'll go to online questions now. Go ahead [INAUDIBLE].

- Thank you. First, we'll go to [INAUDIBLE] Jacob. Go ahead, [INAUDIBLE].

- Hey, Pascal. Those first few weeks of the regular season that you missed, OG was given a lot of offensive responsibility, and he had shown that he had improved his one on one game. How much do you think that's helping him right now, where he's being asked to do more?

PASCAL SIAKAM: I think, yeah, like, OG works-- he works hard, man. He's there in the gym every day working on his game. Obviously, earlier in the season, you know, he had an opportunity to showcase that, and also, it's been a tough season for him, you know, being in and out of the lineup. [INAUDIBLE]

He's been in and out of the lineup, and-- but yeah, he's huge for us, man. Like, he's strong. You know, he can get to his spots, can shoot the 3, and can defend with the best of them out there. So he's huge for us.

- And what do you think-- like, the way Precious has improved over the course of the season, what do you think makes him such a quick learner?

PASCAL SIAKAM: I think, again, we got guys that are just, you know, willing to put the time in with him, watching film, talking to him about everything. And-- and again, on the floor, it's like, you know, we give everyone that confidence to be able to make plays, and-- and I think that that's the identity of our team, you know. The coaching staff and everyone, just making sure that-- making sure that, you know, we give everyone the confidence to make the plays.

- Thank you, Pascal.

- Thank you. We'll go to Louis [INAUDIBLE]. Go ahead, Louis.

- Pascal, when you get in the paint, and you see three, four, five bodies, how important is it that Scottie gets open on the baseline there as a release for you?

PASCAL SIAKAM: I think-- that's pretty specific. But-- but yeah, I think-- I think, again, I feel like I command attention, and I just got to make plays out of it. Like, I feel like everyone is up and down the floor, like, just making the right play.

- Thanks.

- Next, we'll go to Mike from [INAUDIBLE]. Go ahead, Mike.

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- And final question to Cedric.

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PASCAL SIAKAM: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

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PASCAL SIAKAM: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

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