Precious Achiuwa and the Toronto Raptors handed the Miami Heat their third loss of the season last night. Being one of the former players of the Heat organization, Achiuwa was electrified to play against his former team.
On an 8-game night around the association, the Raptors were one of the squads that started the week with a win. The Raptors are off to a decent start with a 2-2 record. Their match against the Heat was their second of the season.
Precious Achiuwa, who came off the bench for the Raptors, had a career night. He scored 10 points, grabbed 22 rebounds and registered a block to snatch the win from the Heat.
After the game, Achiuwa expressed his eagerness to beat the South Beach team.
"I'm down to beat this team any day. That excites me more than anything," Achiuwa said.
Precious Achiuwa was drafted back by the Miami Heat in the 2020 NBA draft with the 20th overall pick. He spent only one season with the team before getting shipped to Toronto with Goran Dragic in exchange for Kyle Lowry. Achiuwa is currently an important piece in the Raptors' quest for another title.
The Raptors and the Heat recently rocked the headlines with their on-court altercation that led to suspensions. During their first matchup, tempers flared as the Heat's Caleb Martin and the Raptors' Christian Koloko got into a physical altercation.
Both players were ejected due to their actions. The altercation resulted in multiple punishments on players from the two teams. Martin, who tackled Koloko, was issued a one-game suspension after tackling the Raptors player. Additionally, Heat rookie Nikola Jovic also received a one-game suspension for leaving the bench.
The league has prohibited players from leaving the bench to avoid further escalation of certain situations. The Raptors' Koloko received a $15k fine for grabbing Martin during their clash.
Understanding the role of Precious Achiuwa on the Toronto Raptors
The Toronto Raptors aren't heavy favorites to win the Larry O'Brien trophy this season. However, that doesn't mean that they should be underestimated. Their roster makes them the perfect dark horse contender in a league that's filled with superteams.
On paper, they may look mediocre. But collectively, the players work well together and have developed a tremendous chemistry with each other.
Toronto has assembled a team that is extremely versatile in a wide array of situations. They have collected frontcourt players that are quick enough to switch on to smaller perimeter players and strong enough to battle for loose balls and rebounds. Precious Achiuwa is one of those players and his recent performance against the Heat is a testament to what Nick Nurse and the Raptors are trying to do.
As a player coming off the bench, Achiuwa isn't a big-time scorer that would make teams worry about him. He's a frontcourt player who is ready to battle it inside when needed. As a center that is capable of stretching the defense with his shooting, Precious Achiuwa's skills are valuable to what the Raptors are trying to accomplish. His effort and tenacity is enough for the team to rely on him to do the dirty work.
Entering his third season, Achiuwa is expected to play a bigger role with the Raptors this season.