Toronto Raptors Get Huge Boost With Return Of Multiple Players

The timing couldn't have been worse when Toronto Raptors All-NBA forward Pascal Siakam slipped on a wet spot on the court early this month and suffered a significant adductor injury. He was in the Top 10 in the NBA's Kia MVP Ladder, and was having the best season of his career. 

Now, finally, ten games later, it appears that Siakam will be back on the floor for the Raptors Monday. And he's just one of three injured charges returning for their game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. 

Reigning Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes has also missed several games with a knee issue, he will also return, as will backup point guard Dalano Banton, who was playing the best basketball of his young career as well until he went down a few games ago. 

Siakam was averaging 24.8 points, 9.3 rebounds and 7.7 assists, all team-bests. And although they went 5-5 without him, the difference in the Raptors both on offense and defense with and without Siakam this year is striking:

                    WITH SIAKAM         WITHOUT

Offensive Rating     3rd                   21st

Defensive Rating     7th                    20th

Net Rating                4th                    26th

OG Anunoby was picking up a lot of the slack, with his usage rate soaring to 25.3% with Siakam out, from his usual 17%. Others helped step up as well in Siakam and Barnes' absence, like veteran Thad Young, Chris Boucher and Juancho Hernangomez. 

Only Precious Achiuwa remains a long-term absence for the team at this point, and he's still, according to coach Nick Nurse, about 2-3 weeks away.

Photo: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports