The Toronto Raptors made a change to the starting lineup against the New York Knicks, inserting Norman Powell in place of Pascal Siakam. Powell slotted in as small forward while OG Anunoby moved down to the power forward spot.
Siakam was left out of the lineup as a disciplinary measure and was understanding of the decision made earlier on Thursday, according to Sportsnet’s Michael Grange. The forward had walked off the floor after he fouled out of the Raptors’ loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday.
An important distinction in the punishment, Grange noted, was that the Raptors did not suspend Siakam. Players who receive team or league suspensions do not get paid, which would have amounted to a nearly $400,000 loss for Siakam.
After the game — which the Raptors won 100-83 — head coach Nick Nurse addressed the situation. Siakam himself was not made available to the media.
“It was a discipline thing, for an internal matter,” Nurse said. “That’s the decision we went with tonight… Just a certain way we want to do things and everybody’s got to be a part of that, it’s as simple as that.”
For his part, Powell had 17 points and four rebounds in 34 minutes, his most productive game in this young season.