The Toronto Raptors have one of the finest defensive teams in the Eastern Conference at their disposal, but they won’t be a true contender for any sort of championship until they find a way to become a more high-octane offensive team. This squad was ranked 20th in points per game and 27th in pace last season.
The Raptors have promising youngsters and interesting veterans littering the roster, but too much of their scoring pop last year was concentrated in stars like Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet. More scoring diversity could ultimately benefit the offense as a whole.
The Raptors brought back most of their starting rotation from last season, showing that they have confidence in this group’s ability to adapt and eventually come out as a better offensive squad following a year of Nick Nurse’s tweaking. Winning every game via a defensive struggle is not sustainable.
Toronto needs to see these three players take a major step forward over the course of the next few months on the offensive end. Doing so would give the Raptors the balance that it seemed they lacked last year when they needed to outscore teams like the 76ers late in the season.
3 Raptors who need to increase their scoring in 2022-23.
3. Precious Achiuwa
Achiuwa looked like such a raw prospect early in his Raptors career that there would be no shot of him becoming a solid scorer during his first Toronto campaign. In the second half of the season, Achiuwa was born anew thanks to a deadly 3-point shot and newfound aggression.
Achiuwa averaged 12.2 points per game while making 39% of his 3-pointers in the second half of the season. If Achiuwa is able to replicate that in 2022-23 and beyond, it will represent an upgrade from the 9.1 points per game he tallied last year with Toronto and establish him as a two-way force.
The Toronto Raptors are counting on Precious Achiuwa.
Achiuwa is going to be one of the first men off the bench this season, and he will likely be inserted into the starting lineup if one of the regulars is taking a day off. Achiuwa has quickly become a part of what Toronto wants to do on both ends given his hard-nosed defense and improved jumper.
If Achiuwa can figure out how to become better in the paint on offense, either by being a better finisher or being the best rim-runner on the team, he will have truly unlocked the next phase of his development. The Heat may not have seen the potential in Achiuwa, but Toronto definitely did.