Mon. Aug 15th, 2022

Precious Achiuwa, Toronto Raptors

September 27, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Toronto Raptors attack Precious Achiuwa (5). Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

With their 113-111 road loss to the Boston Celtics Saturday night at TD Garden, the Toronto Raptors are now more than halfway through their NBA season schedule in 2021: three games down, two left.

The Raptors are 1-2, including a 123-107 victory over the 76ers at Scotiabank Arena on Monday and a 125-113 loss to the same Philly enemies in the City of Brotherly Love on Thursday.

Of course, wins and losses are largely meaningless in the preseason. Playing at this time of year is about the team becoming familiar with each other, coaches measuring talent, and players auditioning for rosters.

With a handful of new faces and many players still in the development stage of their NBA careers, no one really knew what to expect from this latest group of Raptors, so this opening set may have carried more intrigue and been more fascinating than your usual preseason lashes.

Therefore, it is not surprising that there are players who have surprised with their performance against the Sixers and in Boston, both positively and in a disappointing sense. For as much as can be gleaned from competition in the first week and a half of October, the play of these three Raptors has given fans reason to be excited.

3 Toronto Raptors, who have so far surprised in the preseason.

3. Precious Achiuwa

Achiuwa, one of the crown jewels in the Kyle Lowry trade, arrived in Toronto with a limited NBA record, after playing just over 12 minutes per game. Match in 61 appearances as a rookie with the Miami Heat.

Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri obviously saw promise for the 20th overall election in the NBA draft in 2020, and therefore GM made sure that Miami included Achiuwa as part of the deal on the franchise’s former face.

So far, Achiuwa is making Ujiri look very smart as the center is very quickly exploiting that potential. Through three preseason outings, the Achiuwa Raptors lead with 9.3 rebounds per game. Match, including 2.7 at the offensive end, while chipping in with 12 points per game. Match.

He also leads the Raptors with eight steals and has three blocks. Against Philadelphia, Achiuwa showed his strength and kept 76ers all-star Joel Embiid out of the paint. In Boston, he made life difficult for people like Jayson Tatum, using his lateral speed to hold on to the Celtics going forward.

While his jumper looks solid, Achiuwa’s shots remain an ongoing work. After only attempting a three-pointer in 61 games last season, he has put six shots over the arc but has only made one of them.

Still, Achiuwa’s willingness to step outside shows a focus on expanding its range and becoming a more rounded threat of scoring.

Precious Achiuwa shows he should be a starter for the Toronto Raptors.

Achiuwa’s play is a good sign for the Raptors as they have lacked Khem Borch to start the preseason. They might need someone to fill the middle when they begin their 2021-22 program against the Wizards of Toronto.

6-8 Achiuwa shows he can be the man standing at midfield for the season opener, and Toronto should feel confident in his game if forced into action.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.