SAN FRANCISCO – One of the key and necessary parts of Pascal Siakam’s evolution is well known to him and those who closely follow his Raptor exploits.

You can’t ride emotional waves as much as you do.

It needs to exist as the best players in the game do, even on an emotional level. You can’t overreact to bad games or be overly satisfied with good games, at least not in your own mind. You can’t hear the noise around you, the polarizing overreaction to every little thing you do, because it will drive you crazy.

He knows. He’s talked about it since training camp started.

Last week, he proved it.

He had a bad game in Salt Lake City on Thursday night, his worst game of the season in a 119-103 loss. He then had a tremendous game in Sacramento on Friday night, his best game of the year. It was because he fully realized that what happens one night must be forgotten the next morning.

“I always say that I’m very hard on myself just because I know how much work I put in, and sometimes I can be over-analyzing things,” he said after his 32-point, 8-rebound outing on Toronto’s 108 points. 89 whipping by the Kings in Sacramento. “Talking to guys who have been doing it at a high level, one of the things they always say is that they have a short memory.

“Just stay focused, keep moving forward, and just take it out.”

Mastering the emotional ups and downs of a season will be a huge step forward for Siakam. In the past, he has suffered losses and bad games too hard.

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They are going to happen to every NBA player, and it is counterproductive to let your thoughts about them run wild. Paying attention to outside talk is also counterproductive, as Siakam has come to know after being criticized in some social media circles for the past season and a half.

“When you don’t have a good game, you have to recover and you have to do it with some assertiveness and some faith. And I thought he came out and just got to work, and he’s as good as he’s looked in a long time, ”Raptors coach Nick Nurse said after Siakam when he hit 10 of 12 shots from the field in Friday’s win.

“(He) made some 3s, he made some interesting shots, he made some difficult ones. Many good things.”

Siakam’s teammates know what he’s capable of and aren’t overly alarmed by bad play. He is one of the most dynamic scorers on the team and a solid defender.

Your game will determine how this season will ultimately play out.

“If you want to be good or great in this league, that’s what you have to do,” point guard Fred VanVleet said of Siakam’s rebounding game. “I’ve seen him do it before. We have done it before. So again, for me personally it’s what I expected. I would not expect less.

“Now, 10 of 12 (from the field), sometimes it is difficult to shoot 10 of 12 without defense. So for him to do that is awesome for sure. “

And do it after a night of shooting 2 for 14 in Salt Lake City even more.

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“I felt like I was running in the mud the whole game,” Siakam said of the Jazz game. “It’s difficult, and I knew it when I arrived. It’s just waking up every day, moving forward, knowing it’s going to be difficult.

“But once I get that rhythm and my legs under me, I know what I can do on the court. I think I have to focus on that and make sure my head is straight, kind of tunnel vision, just looking in one direction and keep moving. “

By the numbers

Siakam in Salt Lake

Field goals: 2 of 14

Points: 4

Rebounds: 3

Minutes: 31

Siakam in Sacramento

Field Goals: 10 of 12

Points: 32

Rebounds: 8

Minutes: 30


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