The Toronto Raptors have cooled off a bit recently from their torrid start to the season, but at 16-8 they remain near the top of the Eastern Conference standings in fifth, just two games behind the Heat in second.
A big reason for their strong play to start the season has been Pascal Siakam’s transformation into a legitimate star caliber player in the league, as he’s rather seamlessly stepped into the void left by Kawhi Leonard’s departure. He’s averaging 24.5 points and 8.3 rebounds per game on a 45.7/36.1/81.9 shooting split, and he’s also assumed a bigger leadership role as well.
On Wednesday night, Siakam and the Raptors welcomed Leonard back to Toronto for his first and only trip this season — barring a stunning Finals matchup. Naturally, this was a game that Raptors superfan and team ambassador Drake wasn’t going to miss, and he even slipped to the back to say what’s up to the team in the tunnel before the game and watch Siakam’s tunnel run ritual up close.
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) December 11, 2019
Drake then took his customary courtside seat near midcourt and had some fun with Patrick Beverley during the game, engaging in a little light-hearted trash talk with the Clippers point guard that had both laughing.
Looks like Drake and Pat Bev had a quick chat 😆 pic.twitter.com/nbuYaVGKTg
— ESPN (@espn) December 12, 2019
Even with the best efforts of Drake to get his beloved Raptors fired up and to mess with the Clippers courtside, L.A. rolled behind 23 points from Kawhi to lead the six Clippers that finished in double figures on the night to overwhelm the Raptors despite 24 points from Siakam.