Precious Achiuwa quote on his defense will hype up Raptors fans

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MARCH 11: Precious Achiuwa #5 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Kelsey Grant/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MARCH 11: Precious Achiuwa #5 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Kelsey Grant/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors are winners of five straight thanks to a 5-0 stint on their West Coast road trip. While Pascal Siakam has been dominant and Scottie Barnes continues to add to his Rookie of the Year case, the improvements that this team has seen from Precious Achiuwa have been borderline astonishing.

Achiuwa has averaged 12.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per game on 46% shooting since the break. Not only is he taking more 3-pointers at over three attempts per game, but he’s making a ton of them, as his nearly 45% success rate represents a sharp change from the shooter we saw early in the season.

The expert defense that we’ve seen from Achiuwa throughout the season is still there, as a brilliant defensive stand on Marcus Morris during the final possession of the game made sure that Toronto secured the win. No matter how he’s been playing, Achiuwa has never lacked confidence.

Nick Nurse claimed that Achiuwa told him he will “do everything I can to turn the water off” if an opposing player starts to get hot from the field a few months ago. A young player like him asking for tough defensive assignments shows the aggressive determined mentality that he plays with. That’s tough to instill in players his age.

Precious Achiuwa keeps improving for the Toronto Raptors.

Achiuwa’s defense has been extremely impressive all season long. It’s rare to see a 6-8 big man with his size move his feet the way he does. With enough built to operate as a center in the post should the need arise, he’s been everything Masai Ujiri could’ve hoped for on that end.

The offensive improvement we’ve seen from the former Memphis star has been so jarring that it almost defies belief. Achiuwa attempted just one three-pointer during his rookie season in Miami, yet he’s nailed 36% of his 3-balls this season.

The Raptors’ bench has been a sore spot all year long, but Achiuwa is producing for that much-maligned unit behind Khem Birch.

The Rising Stars game must’ve given Achiuwa that burst of validation and confidence he needed to start taking over. While he is still prone to a confiding turnover or missed layup here and there, the fact that he’s playing with so much confidence on both ends should help make the Raptors very bullish on his potential.

If Precious Achiuwa keeps playing this motivated, efficient style of basketball, Toronto should feel even better about his long-term potential as a two-way stopper and spot-up shooter. The Kyle Lowry trade helped Toronto add a very important piece for the future.

Next. 3 Raptors who have earned spots on 2022-23 roster. dark