It could’ve been dark days for the Toronto Raptors after Kawhi Leonard announced that he was heading home to L.A. back in July. It left our champions in a predicament and the rest of the NBA wondering how they were going to fill a Boardman sized hole this season? Since then, fans have floated several possible heirs to Kawhi’s throne, including the likes of OG Anunoby and Patrick McCaw, who have both proven themselves to be formidable players. However, after Toronto’s face-off against Trail Blazers on Wednesday it has became clear that it's not one man who is destined to replace Kawhi. It was the dynamic duo of Siakam and VanVleet.
Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet were Portland’s worst nightmare last night.
According to Yahoo Sports, the pair put up a total of 66 points against the Trailblazers, proving once and for all that Toronto’s roster is still a force to be reckoned with even without the traditional high-stakes players.
The prevailing team-up of Siakam and VanVleet was a much need dose of hope after the Raptors were defeated during their first matchup against Kawhi’s Clippers.
The success of the two’s dynamic was also the spark fans needed following the devastating injuries of Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka, and OG Anunoby.
The loss of those key players could’ve been a doomsday prophecy for Toronto. Instead, they turned it around and made it seem as if Kyle and Serge were luxuries, not a necessity.
Fans, of course, were ecstatic to see the two bring their all, one even stating, "Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam are my favourite duo in the NBA rn."
Yeah the Leafs suck but who cares when Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet are the new Durant and Curry duo of the NBA #Raptors— Ryan MacKenzie (@Ryan MacKenzie)1573743637.0
So if Pascal Siakam is an MVP candidate and Fred VanVleet is an all-star and Lowry and Ibaka are coming back, the R… https://t.co/YeR7dGqQcX— Brad Sanders (@Brad Sanders)1573739452.0
Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet cooked the ever loving fuck outta the Blazers last night. Anyone who doubts Siakam… https://t.co/V4OXtIttEF— sl∞p (@sl∞p)1573737172.0
Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet be like... #WeTheNorth #TORvsPOR #NBATwitter https://t.co/w4lnOCvO68— Wayne R (@Wayne R)1573708668.0
Perhaps, the best part of all this though is the fact that Siakam and VanVleet are good friends off the court as well.
Both players have been spotted cracking jokes and spending time together off the court, proving that the couple is more than just a power duo during a game.
One of the better moments perhaps is when Siakam couldn't stop laughing after a reporter called VanVleet short.
https://t.co/moVRdIB5LX https://t.co/frYRsqD7ti— Toronto Raptors (@Toronto Raptors)1564767636.0
(H)eight (D)oesn't (M)easure (H)eart @pskills43 | @FredVanVleet https://t.co/8rcdAyyY2Z— Toronto Raptors (@Toronto Raptors)1570551672.0
Neither Siakam nor VanVleet spent much time off the court on Wednesday night, with both of them playing over 40 minutes.
Terence Davis also stepped up during the game playing 31 minutes and racking up a respectable 15 points.
If the Raptors can keep this dynamic up, there is no reason why they couldn’t hang with the top teams in the East, and who knows, maybe even take it all the way again.