Pascal Siakam bounced back when the Pacers needed him most

With the Pacers facing a possible 0-3 deficit, Pascal Siakam finally broke out of his shell and had a fantastic game.
Indiana Pacers v New York Knicks - Game One
Indiana Pacers v New York Knicks - Game One / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

The Indiana Pacers needed a big game from Pascal Siakam, and he gave them just that.

After putting up 36 and 37 points in Indiana's first two playoff games against the Milwaukee Bucks, Pascal Siakam struggled for the next eight games. Despite the Pacers putting the Bucks away and winning three of the final four games in the Bucks series, Siakam's averages dropped to around 15 points per game on 46% shooting compared to the lights-out shooting from Games 1 and 2. However, these performances came in mostly wins so there was no real issue at hand.

The real issue started with the first two games of the New York Knicks series, as Siakam continued his subpar play, which reached an all-time low in Game 2. Despite being Indiana's second scoring option, Siakam only scored 14 points on 7/18 shooting and missed both of his free throws, which came at a crucial point in the game.

In general, Siakam struggled with free throw shooting up to this point, shooting only 43.8% from the line in the first eight playoff games. Indiana was down 0-2 after this game and needed a bounce-back from their star forward to stay alive in the series and avoid going down 0-3.

Sure enough, Pascal Siakam showed up in Game 3, putting up 26 points, second on the team, on 9/14 shooting and grabbing seven rebounds. More importantly, he shot an improved 7/9 from the line, which included making 5/7 in the fourth quarter and giving Indiana a lead they would not relinquish with 3:30 left in the game.

Prior to the game, there were questions on whether or not Siakam was worth the max contract the Pacers will most likely give him in the offseason, with his previous performances possibly lowering his price in the summer. However, after helping save the Pacers' season, Siakam's value is undeniable, as he provided exactly what the Pacers acquired him for, which is steady offensive production, solid defense, and a veteran eye down the stretch.


With OG Anunoby being out for at least Game 4 and possible Game 5 as well, the Knicks' best defensive matchup for Siakam has been neutralized, thus giving Siakam free reign to take advantage of any defender New York puts on him. Hopefully, this translate to more success, as Siakam has to keep this play up for Indiana to keep their season alive for longer.