Raptors: 3 players who must step up without Chris Boucher

TAMPA, FLORIDA - APRIL 21: Chris Boucher #25 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FLORIDA - APRIL 21: Chris Boucher #25 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /
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Precious Achiuwa, Toronto Raptors
Sep 27, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Toronto Raptors forward Precious Achiuwa (5), who could replace Chris Boucher. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /

Scottie Barnes and the Toronto Raptors started the preseason off on the right foot, taking down the Philadelphia 76ers in their return to Canada by way of a ferocious defense and transition-heavy offensive attack. They won this game without the services of Chris Boucher, a concept they need to get very familiar with.

Boucher will reportedly be out for a minimum of 3-4 weeks, as he had surgery to repair a dislocated finger. With Pascal Siakam on the mend as well, what was once a position of strength for tomorrow has very quickly become a net negative thanks to injuries at the position.

The Raptors have preached a “next man up” culture for years, and with both an All-Star level starter and Sixth Man of the Year contender potentially in line to miss game time, Toronto will need to act fast to replace him.

With Boucher on the mend, these three Toronto Raptors will need to rise to the occasion if the team is going to keep the momentum they picked up in the preseason opener rolling into the start of the regular season.

3 Toronto Raptors who must step up without Chris Boucher.

3. Precious Achiuwa

Achiuwa, who was billed as a hyper-athletic small-ball center when the Raptors acquired him from Miami, might end up getting some time at power forward due to the Boucher situation. If he is able to replicate his play against Philadelphia, Achiuwa should slide right into the rotation with ease.

Achiuwa scored 13 points on 6-9 shooting with seven rebounds. In addition to the fact he blocked two shots on the defensive end, Achiuwa was attacking the rim and making mid-range jumpers on the offensive end, showcasing the improvement that Nick Nurse and the staff wanted to see.

Toronto Raptors: Precious Achiuwa could replace Chris Boucher.

There are very few young players Achiuwa’s size that can move like he can and hang around down in the post. This makes him a natural replacement for No. 25. The Raptors might need to eat into their center depth by moving Achiuwa around, but his preseason opener made him look like a player that will demand increased minutes.

One issue that Achiuwa, and the rest of the Raptors, showed was how they struggled to contain the gargantuan Andre Drummond in the paint. If he can work on his post defense for situations like that, the defensive acumen that Toronto lost with Boucher could be made up for thanks to this second-year standout.