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That’s A Rap: Giving Siakam his flowers

Siakam deserves better. Derozan deserves praise. Los Angeles deserves a better arena name. We’re handing out a lot of flowers in the latest episode of That’s A Rap!

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Toronto Raptors v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

Kyle Kuzma, Robert Williams, Mfiondu Kabengele, Udoka Azubuike, Cameron Thomas.

They are the players selected 27th in each of the five drafts that followed Pascal Siakam’s year, when he was drafted 27th by the Toronto Raptors in 2016. Are any of them facing the immense amount of scrutiny that Siakam faces every day? Are any of them remotely close to being tasked with carrying the scoring burden of a #1 option? I get that Pascal’s meteoric rise from draft unknown to All-NBA Forward has changed the lens with which the late first-rounder is judged, but how quickly fans forget to adjust the expectations accordingly.

While some misguided fans may see Siakam’s play thus far as a disappointment, Jason and Dre had no problems finding the surprises and true disappointments of the season so far. I was not able to make this week’s recording, which was completed before Toronto’s loss to Golden State. In any case, make sure to include in the comments below some teams/players that have caught your eye so far this season.

In This Episode:

3:30 — Some Raptors fans don’t deserve Pascal

Tell me if you’ve heard this before: Siakam is receiving backlash on his performance, even though it’s not as bad as the numbers would dictate. Yes, the Raptors have but one victory (over the Kangs) while Pascal’s in the lineup, but it certainly hasn’t been because of any lackluster play from Spicy P. He’s improving with each game and will soon be the last one laughing.

14:00 — Surprises and disappointments

There are plenty of surprises this season. From the Bay area to Chi-town, some teams and players have already exceeded pre-season expectations and are thinking about Larry OB. On the other side, Dre mentioned the Lakers as a “complete and utter sh*t show,” which is even funnier considering what transpired later that evening in Detroit.

33:02 — LeBron the Cryptkeeper

Is nothing sacred anymore? With Staples Center set to change their name to Arena, the boys couldn’t help diving into some old arena names they miss. To be fair, the backlash was probably greater for when Staples Center was the name replacing the Forum!

43:45 — Do not pass go, Mr. Irving

Not that it changes anything major, the Canadian Government announced that only fully vaccinated individuals can play at Scotiabank Arena, as of January 15, 2022. Previously, unvaccinated players could still play — they would have to produce multiple negative tests and be restricted to travel only from the hotel to the arena. After January 15, Michael Porter Jr. (February 12) and Kyrie Irving (March 1) will not be allowed to travel with the team to Toronto.