We are logging you in. Thank you for your patience!

NBA

Siakam or Vanvleet: who has the better all-star case?

The NBA All-Star Game is now less than two months away and voting is in full swing. The fans, media and current players will all play a role in determining this season’s starters, while NBA head coaches will be given the power to determine the reserves.

Voting

After two returns of fan votes, Toronto Raptors stars Pascal Siakam and Fred Vanvleet both find themselves in the top ten of their respective voting categories.

Siakam, who had not been in the top ten in the first returns, moved into the top eight of Eastern Conference frontcourt players this past week, with 244,042 votes.

Vanvleet came in at tenth in the first returns and also moved up a few spots, now sitting at eighth among East guards with 350,806 votes.

It remains unlikely that either Siakam or Vanvleet will be named starters. However, they both make a compelling case to get voted in as reserves. It might just come down to one or the other, and it could be a really close call.

Siakam makes late push

Siakam missed the first ten games of the season due to injury and took some time to get into a rhythm. However, he has steadily improved month by month and has now been playing the best basketball of his career over a sustained period of time. Three areas that he has taken some huge steps in are rebounding, passing and three-point shooting.

Siakam is averaging 8.4 rebounds per game this season, and over his last ten games he sits at 9.8. He has never averaged more than 7.3 rebounds in a season in his six-year career.

In the assist column, Siakam sits at 5.0 per contest, also a career-high, and is up to a very impressive 6.8 over his last ten games. Through his first 358 career games, he had recorded ten or more assists just two times. He has now done it in back-to-back contests, including a 30-point triple-double on Saturday when the Raptors picked up an impressive road win in Milwaukee. That performance was one of the best of 27-year-old’s career, and after the game he humbly opted to credit the whole team for the big win.

“I just try to come out every night with just the same intensity and same energy,” Siakam said. “Tonight I think we all played well. We were flowing and moving the ball and just playing our brand of basketball.”

Siakam is shooting just 33.7% from three, but has improved greatly as of late after a poor start to the season. He is at 45.2% over his last ten games.

Overall, Siakam is averaging 21.0 points, 8.4 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.1 steals and 0.8 blocks per game on 47.7% shooting, 33.7% from three and 71.6% from the free throw line.

Siakam has been named an All-Star once before, in 2019-20.

Vanvleet’s case

Vanvleet has cooled off just a little bit over the last couple of games but was playing superstar level basketball in early January alongside Siakam. He went on a ridiculous stretch where he dropped 30 or more points in five of six games, including a 37-point triple-double, which was the first of his career. He has been shooting threes at a sensational rate, averaging 5.5 makes per game over his last 12 games on 43.7% shooting.

Over that span he is averaging 27.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 2.0 steals and just 1.7 turnovers, while shooting 43.7% from the field and the three-point line, as well as 87.0% from the free throw line.

On the year, he has recorded a career-high 21.9 points, a career-high 4.8 rebounds, a career-high 6.7 assists and 1.7 steals on a career-high 43.3% shooting, 40.7% from three and 86.2% on free throws.

Unlike Siakam, Vanvleet has never been named an NBA All-Star.

Siakam, Vanvleet, both or neither?

The Raptors currently sit at 21-20 on the season, good for ninth in the East and 15th in the NBA. The Raptors certainly deserve at least one All-Star selection, but two may be a little bit harder to justify. As deserving as both Siakam and Vanvleet are, only so many spots are available.

Which player do you think has a better shot? Let us know by engaging with us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!