The Toronto Raptors had quite a daunting task ahead of them before their Monday game against the Miami Heat, as they needed to figure out a way to take down one of the best teams in the league without Scottie Barnes. Luckily for them, Precious Achiuwa stepped up.
The de facto Sixth Man for this team played 34 minutes off the bench, recording his second straight double-double by scoring 10 points and pulling down an astonishing 22 rebounds. Achiuwa went from being traded for Kyle Lowry to leaving Miami with a W firmly grasped in his hand.
On a night where All-NBA contender Pascal Siakam got off to a very slow start and O.G. Anunoby was basically invisible until the fourth quarter, Achiuwa showed that he was not going to be denied of a win against his old teammates, his ability to dominate the glass helped the Raptors pull away.
Nick Nurse came into this offseason expecting big things out of Achiuwa due to the unique toolbox of physical gifts he possessed. While he was clearly raw last year, the version we’re seeing so far in 2022-23 has shown that he is starting to put the puzzle pieces together.
Precious Achiuwa recorded 22 rebounds for the Toronto Raptors.
Achiuwa became just the 15th player in Raptors history to record 20 rebounds in a single game, and the first ever to record 20 boards off the bench. Considering the circumstances, this might be the most impressive non-Siakam performance of the year.
Achiuwa is now averaging 10.5 points and 11.0 rebounds per game this season. While the Sixth Man of the Year talk may have sounded like Raptors fan hyperbole in the preseason, he’s shown he can make a legitimate charge at this award.
Achiuwa, who scored 10 points, combined his tremendous rebounding skills with another solid defensive night. Against a Miami team with tons of shooters, multiple players who can lead the offense on any given night, and an elite big man in Bam Adebayo, Achiuwa’s dominance was simply sublime.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reminded Heat fans there was a way to get Lowry without trading Achiuwa. LIt lookslike a mistake was made! And a fairly big one at that!
The Raptors are never going to back down from a developmental challenge, and they seem to have won yet another one of those gambles by molding Achiuwa into a two-way player capable of being the first guy off the bench for a contender. When Otto Porter Jr. gets back, this Precious-led bench could get kicked up a notch.