The Raptors played without forward Pascal Siakam against the Knicks on Thursday. The team reportedly benched him as punishment for his leaving the court before the end of Toronto’s loss to the 76ers on Tuesday in Philadelphia.
Siakam went straight to the locker room after fouling out with 25 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. Toronto coach Nick Nurse told reporters after the game (per Doug Smith of the Toronto Star) that he would “address” the walk-off when he returned to the locker room.
Sportsnet’s Michael Grange reported Thursday that Siakam is “understanding” of the decision to sit him and is expected to be available for Toronto’s first game of 2021, which is set for Saturday in New Orleans.
Norman Powell started in Siakam’s place against New York. Powell struggled in the season’s opening week (17.4 percent shooting from the field), but Nurse told reporters before the 76ers game that the forward had earned a “longer leash” because of his past contributions.
“I’ve got to play that out, continue to play that out until he gets on track,” Nurse said, per Smith.
Siakam, 26, averaged 18.7 points, 9.0 rebounds and 4.7 assists in the Raptors’ first three games of the 2020-21 season, all losses