Raptors: Nick Nurse expecting big things from Precious Achiuwa

TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 01: Precious Achiuwa #5 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 01: Precious Achiuwa #5 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors acquired Precious Achiuwa from the Miami Heat with the goal of taking a player who was a bit raw on the offensive end and molding him into a two-way dynamo that serves as a complimentary role player. The squad has to be very pleased with the results so far.

Achiuwa struggled mightily to start the season, as his poor finishing around the rim drew the ire of Raptors fans. After getting more confident as a shooter once the All-Star break ended, Achiuwa was ready to unleash his new style of play on an unsuspecting league.

Achiuwa’s development is going to be essential for the Raptors, as he will likely be one of the first men off the bench for Nick Nurse. Coach Nurse himself is all in on Achiuwa’s potential, tabbing him as a player who is going to make waves and take a huge step forward this season.

On the Rapcity Keleten-Nyugaton podcast, Nurse noted that he expects big things from Achiuwa this season, saying he is “on a mission” after his successful sophomore year. Even with all of the star power on this roster, Achiuwa wants to prove he’s a long-term piece.

The Toronto Raptors expect a ton from Precious Achiuwa.

Achiuwa averaged 9.1 points and 6.5 rebounds per game last season. After the All-Star break, Achiuwa bumped his scoring up to 12.2 points per game while connecting on 39% of his 3-point attempts. With his defense remaining excellent, there’s a ton to be excited about.

Achiuwa’s ability to defend multiple positions, block a shot when needed, and handle the ball in transition are all exceptional for a 6-8 youngster. He needed one defining characteristic on offense to set himself apart, and he found it in his 3-point shot.

He is still not the best with finishing at the rim, as he is often too wild and out of control when attacking the basket. Fixing that flaw and maintaining what he did last year as a shooter and defender will help Achiuwa average double digits in points per game during his third season.

The Raptors have a more crowded bench this season than they had in 2021-22, thanks to the addition of Otto Porter, but Toronto still needs Achiuwa to step up and show that he is going to continue making plays. Nurse is putting a ton of faith in him, and it’s on Precious to prove that faith was not misguided.

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