Raptors Roster & Starting Lineup vs. Sixers; Pascal Siakam Status Update

Pascal Siakam #43 of the Toronto Raptors

Getty Pascal Siakam #43 of the Toronto Raptors shoots the ball as Jimmy Butler #23 and Greg Monroe #55 of the Philadelphia 76ers defend during Game Two of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on April 29, 2019 in Toronto, Canada.

Toronto Raptors star forward Pascal Siakam has been listed as doubtful for Sunday’s Game 4 because of a right calf contusion.

According to Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports, Siakam is hopeful he can play and said he’ll test it out in practice today and then again Sunday morning and will continue to get treatment.

Having the doubtful tag does raise concerns but depending on the severity of the injury, it wouldn’t be surprising if Siakam gives it a go, considering what’s at stake for the Raptors in Game 4. It goes without saying that not having Siakam would be a massive loss for a Raptors team that’s already down 2-1 and lacking size/depth.

Kawhi Leonard needs some help from his teammates, especially if Siakam misses Game 4. The Raptors bench averaged 36.2 points per game in the regular season but they’ve scored a combined 30 points in this series, with Serge Ibaka, Norman Powell and Fred VanVleet shooting 10-for-41 from the field. VanVleet is a woeful 1-for-11 in the series, including 0-for-7 from the field and 0-for-5 from 3-point range in Game 3.

Raptors Roster & Starting Lineup vs. Sixers

*Notates expected starter

C: Marc Gasol*, Eric Moreland
PF: Serge Ibaka*, Malcom Miller
SF: Kawhi Leonard*, Norman Powell
SG: Danny Green*, Patrick McCaw, Jodie Meeks
PG: Kyle Lowry*, Fred VanVleet, Jeremy Lin

How important is Sunday’s Game 4 for the Raptors? Kyle Lowry said it best:

“Big. Huge. Huge. We need it. It’s a must-win for us. We wanna win it. We’re gonna desperately go out there and play as hard as we possibly can to win the game.”

The Sixers dominated the Raptors 116-95 to take a 2-1 series lead last Thursday, leaving them searching for answers to all kinds of questions about a roster they specifically built to make a deep playoff run.

Apart from Kawhi Leonard, who’s stepped up to average 37.7 points per game in this series, the team’s offense has disappeared. Last Thursday, Leonard pulled the Raptors to within seven points but when he sat for just under three minutes to start the fourth quarter, his teammates, including three starters, pretty much gave the game away.

The bench has struggled but Kyle Lowry and Marc Gasol were ineffective at both ends of the floor in Game 3, scoring just seven points each while shooting a combined 4-for-16 from the field, passing up numerous wide open shots.

Siakam is averaging 23.3 points and 5.7 rebounds on 54.2 percent shooting and 34.5 percent from 3-point range in 36.3 minutes over three games in this series. Fred VanVleet, Norman Powell, Serge Ibaka and Patrick McCaw are the potential starters if Pascal Siakam is out but obviously none are ideal alternatives matchup-wise.

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