3 burning questions Raptors must answer amid playoff push

TORONTO, ON - MARCH 03: Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse reacts to a referee's call (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MARCH 03: Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse reacts to a referee's call (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors, Precious Achiuwa
PHOENIX, ARIZONA – MARCH 11: Precious Achiuwa #5 of the Toronto Raptors attempts a shot against Torrey Craig #0 of the Phoenix Suns (Photo by Kelsey Grant/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors looked like a completely shambolic squad when the second half started, but they have since rebounded in impressive fashion. Road wins against the Suns and Nuggets proved that the likes of Pascal Siakam could carry this team despite some injury concerns.

Toronto is currently the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference. Not only is there some distance between them and the now-healthy Nets, but Toronto might be able to snag the No. 6 seed away from the Cleveland Cavaliers if everything continues to go according to plan.

Toronto has made a habit of remaining as inconsistent as possible this season. Toronto’s wins against Phoenix and Denver were preceded by losses against Detroit and Orlando. Can this team finally put their issues behind them and get on track for good before the postseason?

The Raptors still have some serious questions hanging over this team that need to be answered relatively quickly. Once these issues get answered in a very clear, resounding way, Toronto can figure out exactly how high the ceiling is for this team in the immediate future.

3 burning questions the Toronto Raptors must answer.

3. Can Precious Achiuwa keep growing?

Going into last night’s tussle with the Lakers, Achiuwa was averaging 13.0 points and 6.2 rebounds per game in the second half. Originally a complete non-factor as a shooter who took one 3-pointer in Miami, Achiuwa is nailing half of his 3-point attempts while firing over three shots from deep per contest.

A more physical presence than Chris Boucher and a better player on both ends when compared to Khem Birch, Achiuwa is starting to look like the player Masai Ujiri thought he was getting this offseason. However, Achiuwa needs to prove this is indicative of sustained success and not simply a nice two-week span.

Will the Toronto Raptors keep leaning on Precious Achiuwa?

Achiuwa is still making just 46% of his shots despite the success from 3-point range. Precious is still a subpar finisher at the rim, and he won’t become the most dynamic version of himself until he clears that issue up. Players like Birch will keep getting time until Achiuwa corrects that issue.

At the very least, the last few weeks have shown that Achiuwa is clearly a different player than the mistake-prone clutz that the Raptors had earlier in the year. The Rising Stars game has him playing some extremely dynamic and show-stopping basketball, but it’s up to him to keep his confidence high and his efficiency solid.