OG Anunoby may have been the centerpiece of the trade fulfilled between New York and Toronto, but the Knicks also acquired two other Raptors pieces in the deal, Malachi Flynn and Precious Achiuwa. Flynn has yet to suit up for his new squad as he reportedly arrived in New York suffering from an ankle injury.
As for Precious Achiuwa, he's suited up now for the last two Knicks games, and needless to say, the Precious in which Raptors fans were used has transferred over the border.
In his first game as a Knick against the Timberwolves on January 1, Achiuwa played just over eight minutes recording three rebounds and going 0-for-2 on his shot attempts. Against the Chicago Bulls on January 3, Achiuwa got about 11 minutes of run recording four points, three rebounds, one assist, and one block.
The numbers don't scream a bad game per se, but if you look at the plus-minus, Achiuwa had an atrocious plus-minus of -16. When compounded with some mind-numbing mental lapses on both ends that fans in Toronto became all-to used to seeing, Knicks fans have already started with some unflattering comparisons.
Knicks fans frustrated with Precious Achiuwa, just like Toronto Raptors fans.
It wasn't expected that Flynn or Achiuwa would come to New York and become quality bench pieces right off the bat. They weren't proving that in Toronto anyway. With the Knicks short on bench help in the front court after losing Mitchell Robinson, the opportunity was there for Achiuwa to step up in his absence.
Instead, Achiuwa's play has been far from impressive to Knicks fans, who sound like a broken record mirroring that of his Raptors tenure. Thibodeau putting the 6-8 Achiuwa in as the backup center against much bigger players certainly isn't helping.
The bright lights of New York are not the place you want to be putting up a stinker. The threat of being lambasted by Knicks fans and mainstream media is always a possibility, and sadly for Achiuwa, it doesn't seem like Knicks fans are willing to give him the slightest leeway on his unimpactful game.
It's a bit harsh but these are just careless habits Achiuwa already had while in Toronto. Nine and eleven minutes of run is a bit on the short side to throw so much shade, but what has Achiuwa proved otherwise to justify more minutes? With some Knicks fans already furious with the trade, Achiuwa's sloppy play is just another reason for them to blow up in anger.
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