Despite a season of ups and downs, the Raptors will be playing postseason basketball.
A weekend win over Charlotte secured Toronto a spot in the NBA’s Play-In tournament, an opportunity for the franchise to secure its ninth place in the playoffs in 10 years. According to Pascal Siakam, all the Raptors need is an opportunity.
“We were just trying to find our rhythm and keep fighting,” Siakam told ESPN’s Malika Andrews. “Now that we’re in a position where we can get in there, that’s just our goal – to get into the playoffs, and again, I always say that once we get into the playoffs, we make some noise can.
“I don’t think many teams would enjoy playing us.”
“I always say that once we get to the playoffs we can make some noise and I don’t think many teams would enjoy playing us.”
Pascal Siakam on the Raptors’ mindset. You have already secured a place in the play-in tournamentpic.twitter.com/1RJFDkTiNk
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) April 3, 2023
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Siakam, who has made the playoffs five times in the first seven years of his career, knows a thing or two about postseason success. He expressed confidence that the team has what it takes to make the playoffs for the sixth time since his rookie season in 2016-17. The return of Siakam’s comrade-in-arms will certainly play a role.
“Add Jacob [Poeltl] to mix [gives us] this rim protection that we’ve always wanted,” said Siakam.
Since acquiring Poeltl, the Raptors are 13-9, including seven wins in their last 10 games. Poeltel’s return completes the 2016-17 rookie trio – the other key member is Fred VanVleet, who also sang the big man’s praises.
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Thanks to last year’s finish as the East’s fifth seedling, all but four players in the roster have postseason experience, two of whom are rookies. This experience should support the play-in tournament and a potential first-round series in the NBA playoffs.
Depending on their finish and performance in the play-in tournament, the Raptors would likely face either the Celtics or Bucks, two teams they will see in the final week of the season.
There’s still work to be done before the regular season ends, but the Raptors have earned their chance to “make some noise.” We’ll find out if they’re up for it, like Siakam says.