Assessing the all-star chances of VanVleet and Siakam - TSN.ca

2022-01-29 4:30:00 AM

.@JLew1050 assesses the All-Star chances of Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam. ARTICLE:

.JLew1050 assesses the All-Star chances of Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam. ARTICLE:

Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam each have a strong case to represent the Toronto Raptors as reserve players in the NBA’s annual mid-season showcase in Cleveland on February 20, Josh Lewenberg writes.

 and They each have a strong case to represent Toronto in the NBA’s annual mid-season showcase, which will take place in Cleveland on February 20. Like his predecessor, Over his last 28 contests, the 27-year-old forward is averaging 22.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 5.3 assists on 48 per cent shooting, on par with his all-star 2019-20 season, which earned him All-NBA second team honours.

 Generally, coaches prioritize a few things when casting their ballots. Reputation, track record and overall narrative are usually factors. , who will only be able to vote for the West reserves, unfortunately for VanVleet. “I think he’s maybe the most underrated player in the league. He can do it all. He’s a lockdown defender. He’s a big shot taker and maker. He’s tough as nails… I don’t think he gets enough credit.”

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Fan ballots accounted for 50 per cent of the vote, while the league’s players and a select media panel were responsible for the other half.   Also of little surprise, for the second straight year and only the second time in the last eight seasons, the Raptors didn’t have a player voted in to start. Miller be dealt before the deadline? What value will Kane bring to the Oilers? Kane won't be suspended; reaches agreement with Oilers Ex-Canucks forward Virtanen charged with sexual assault Insider Trading: Kane saga wraps up; Could J. Their two most deserving players, Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam , finished sixth and ninth in voting at their respective positions. Canada has 19 points after nine games, one more than the United States and two more than Mexico, who currently occupy the third and final automatic qualifying position in the standings. So, their all-star fate now rests in the hands of the coaches, which always seemed to be the most likely scenario. Miller be dealt before the deadline? Kane won't be suspended; reaches agreement with Oilers Keith on Kane signing: 'Any time you add a player like that, you'd be excited' Keith says Oilers need to build on 'gutsy win' over Canucks 'We expect they're upset about last game': Flames ready for better Blues team tonight Garland 'just happy to be back' after COVID absence Habs' D Niku, Blackhawks' F Connolly clear waivers Ex-Canucks forward Virtanen charged with sexual assault Lowry on his advice to Kovacevic: 'You only get one first game, so enjoy it' Tkachuk on replacing Batherson at ASG: 'We all know Bath deserved to be there' Smith on Dell suspension: 'It doesn't matter; At the end of the day, I'm losing my guy' Holden on re-signing with Senators: 'It was an easy decision' Ducharme on whether or not he misses pre-pandemic times: 'I'd like a normal season'.   The league’s 30 head coaches have until Tuesday to submit their ballots for the reserves, which will be announced Thursday evening.

They’ll each select two guards, three frontcourt players and two wild cards (players at any position). Just before half, he beat an on-rushing Romell Quioto to a ball, clearing the danger. They cannot vote for their own players, and they can only vote for players in their conference. Meaning, there are only 14 people (the East’s head coaches, minus Nick Nurse) who can cast a ballot for VanVleet or Siakam.   They each have a strong case to represent Toronto in the NBA’s annual mid-season showcase, which will take place in Cleveland on February 20. The 21-year-old will not be available for any of the three games Canada will play during the current window.   VanVleet is averaging 21.

7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 7.0 assists in his sixth season, all career highs. He leads the league in minutes and distance travelled per game, ranks third in deflections, and he’s hitting 39 per cent of his 9.9 three-point attempts, making him one of the game’s elite high-volume shooters.

  The 27-year-old guard makes winning plays on both ends of the floor. With VanVleet on the court, the Raptors have outscored opponents by 152 points. Without him, they’ve been outscored by 117 points. He ranks seventh in value over replacement player behind six all-star starters and MVP candidates – Jokic, Antetokounmpo, James, Embiid, Curry and Durant.   Like his predecessor, Kyle Lowry , VanVleet’s impact transcends the traditional box score.

He’s inherited Lowry’s role as the franchise’s on and off court leader, and the transition has been seamless. His best qualities, which include toughness and resiliency, have rubbed off on his young teammates, helping to expedite the club’s development process.   Siakam had a late start to his sixth NBA campaign, having missed the first 10 games after undergoing off-season shoulder surgery. Coming off a six-month layoff, he needed a couple of weeks to get his rhythm and conditioning back, but since mid-November he’s playing the best basketball of his career.   Over his last 28 contests, the 27-year-old forward is averaging 22.

2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 5.3 assists on 48 per cent shooting, on par with his all-star 2019-20 season, which earned him All-NBA second team honours.   His game continues to evolve, and he’s taken another big step forward as a playmaker. With more reps initiating the offence, even serving as the team’s backup point guard recently, Siakam has recorded seven or more assists in nine of his last 16 games.

  So, what are their chances of getting in?   Generally, coaches prioritize a few things when casting their ballots. Reputation, track record and overall narrative are usually factors.   VanVleet doesn’t exactly have an all-star pedigree, but he shouldn’t be sneaking up on anybody after making a strong push and just missing the cut a year ago. And if anybody should be able to appreciate his story – working his way from an undrafted free agent to franchise cornerstone – it’s a group of coaches.   “He’s so under appreciated,” said Trail Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups , who will only be able to vote for the West reserves, unfortunately for VanVleet.

“I think he’s maybe the most underrated player in the league. He can do it all. He’s a lockdown defender. He’s a big shot taker and maker. He’s tough as nails… I don’t think he gets enough credit.

”   “He’s earned every bit of what he’s getting and what he’s doing,” said Pistons head coach, and former Raptors coach Dwane Casey. “He should be an all-star, and Pascal’s [also] making a statement to be an all-star, [with] the way he’s playing.”   Siakam has already proven he belongs in the conversation, and everybody loves a redemption arc. After a tough couple years, on and off the court, he hasn’t just bounced back and regained his pre-pandemic form, he’s exceeding it.   Coaches also tend to reward winning, which could make this season’s vote more difficult.

The East standings are as tight as they’ve been in years. Six teams have started to gain some separation atop the conference, while six others – including Toronto – are hovering around .500. Only three clubs (Indiana, Detroit and Orlando) have fallen out of the playoff race. In other words, there are a lot of deserving players on good teams that should warrant consideration.

  For the purpose of this exercise, let’s rule out Pacers centre Domantas Sabonis , the only real candidate on any of the East’s three bottom dwellers. The talented big man has been an all-star each of the last two years and is having another great season, but should have a hard time getting enough votes with Indiana’s 17-32 record.   From there, you could make an argument for 16 different players on those other 12 teams, all of whom will be vying for seven spots – or eight, with the injured Durant expected to be replaced on the roster. Those 16 candidates, in order of their team’s current standing, are as follows: .