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Fan Duel Toronto Raptors

Precious Achiuwa, even after mistakes, will alway tantalize

The Raptors finally played Precious Achiuwa in a rotation that made sense. It went pretty well!

Okay, remember that last article, written yesterday, about how Precious Achiuwa needs to do more for the Raptors? 

It wasn’t me. 

I saw your byline

It wasn’t me. 

I saw you post it.

It wasn’t me. 

Actually, Achiuwa can do no wrong. (If he were to play the Miami Heat every game, then we’d really be cooking with gas.) 

In the second quarter the Toronto Raptors’ Dec. 6 game against the Miami Heat, Otto Porter jr. caught the ball in the corner, drawing a closeout. He took one good dribble into the paint and immediately swung it to his closest teammate. That happened to be Achiuwa, who burst inside the lane before the defense could notice (stampede cuts rock) and then jumped thin through two defenders before finishing gently with his left hand. Empty space in front of him is good. 

But, okay, yesterday’s piece was me. I can’t go full, shameless Shaggy. It was me, and I stand by it. I want to do a follow-up now, though. A little redux. Here’s a brief part of what I wrote yesterday:

“Darko Rajakovic and the Raptors haven’t put Achiuwa in a position to succeed. When he has played alongside Toronto’s best, his numbers have been fine. Good, even. This has been true since he joined the team — and his best stretch, coming to end the 2021-22 season, came when he got time with the starters. This season, when Achiuwa has played without either of Malachi Flynn or Gradey Dick on the floor, the Raptors have won those minutes pretty handily. The thing is, they have only played 80 of those minutes. Achiuwa just hasn’t seen the time alongside players who create advantages for him and let him drive into gaps.”

I sort of waved that away by saying he needs to earn those minutes. And to some extent, that is true. He does have to earn minutes alongside starter-heavy groups. But his bench units don’t need to be quite so detrimental to his play. For example: Coming into the Raptors’ game against the Heat, Achiuwa had logged zero minutes alongside both of Otto Porter jr. and Gary Trent jr. He played only 32 minutes alongside OG Anunoby.