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NBA Awards 2019: 3 reasons why Pascal Siakam should win the Most Improved Player Award

  • Pascal Siakam is well-poised to lift the NBA Most Improved Player award this year.
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Modified 01 Apr 2020, 17:29 IST
Pascal Siakam has come a long way
Pascal Siakam has come a long way

NBA's Most Improved Player Award is given to a player with an enormous leap in terms of skills and impact as compared to the previous season. Last year it was won by the deserving Giannis Antetokounmpo and this year, the list has been shortlisted to final three- D'Angelo Russell, De'Aaron Fox and Pascal Siakam. Like every year, this time also it will be a tight contest between the last three. However, Pascal Siakam has a much stronger case than anyone else.

The 25-year-old Cameroonian has come a long way from where he started his career in basketball. With his repertoire of moves and burly framework, Siakam has captured the eyes of the bigs in the NBA, especially this year. His steely confidence in himself was conspicuous when he took the floor in the Game 1 of the NBA Finals where he knocked down 32 points. He is no more an average player in the NBA but has transformed into a force.

Here are the three main reasons why Siakam is well-poised to lift the NBA Most Improved Player award.

#3 The transition from a role player to an NBA champion

Siakam has almost always been clutch down the stretch
Siakam has almost always been clutch down the stretch

From being a rookie who barely started a game to becoming the linchpin of Raptors' squad this year, Siakam is the most improved player in the NBA. After all, he had an NBA championship to his name this year.

If we look at his game in the first two seasons, Siakam was a role player for the Raptors. We could see him cutting to basket, providing screens to Lowry, or hammering down those dunks off the lob from Lowry. Fast forward one year, and we saw him crossing over defenders, shooting three-pointers, hustling at the defensive end and taking care of business during the clutch situations.

While we saw him take the backseat a year ago, Siakam didn't hesitate in coming to the fore when the team needed him to and assisted the Raptors with some high IQ plays down the stretch.

"I'm definitely not a personal-type guy where I care about personal accolades and stuff, but definitely a team-guy first. Something like that, in terms of who I am and the person that I've become, and people that know my story and how I came up, that would mean a lot just because that's me. Like, that's literally who I am as a player and as a person." - Pascal Siakam
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Published 18 Jun 2019, 09:12 IST
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