Precious Achiuwa pleased with how Raptors guarded Embiid in Game 1

Precious Achiuwa said he was shocked that Fred VanVleet picked up two fouls in the first minute of the game, especially since the whistle seems to loosen during the playoffs. He also discussed how he’s able to stay even-keeled when calls don’t go his way and shared his thoughts on how Toronto guarded Joel Embiid in Game 1.

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Video Transcript

- Of the game with Fred, who got those fouls really quick. Do you guys, as a collective unit, I have to say, we need to tighten up defensively or stick to the game plan? Or what kind of-- what are you thinking when that happens?

PRECIOUS ACHIUWA: I was-- I was shocked. I'm sure a lot of guys on the team, on the bench, are shocked at they were all passing to [INAUDIBLE]. The reason is because it's a playoff game and usually you don't see those type of, you know, fouls, you know, early, especially in the game. And we were just kind of like, you know, surprised at the call.

And we just-- we just, you know, said to each other that we understand how, like, there was some idea of how the game was going to be, you know, called, and we just had to, like, make adjustments as the game went on.

- I was gonna ask you, you seem always these very keen to go up there. Obviously, you're not the same, but there are some frustration with your legal guarding position, it not going your way. Then you just have to get back and play the next possession. And that's tough to do in this situation, in this environment.

Have you always just been on to the next possession kind of guy? Or how do you stay with the post?

PRECIOUS ACHIUWA: I just-- like, I'm never like a-- a too high or too low kind of guy. I just always try to stay in the moment and just, you know, move on if something doesn't go my way, just, you know, move on to the next. There's a lot of possession in a-- in a basketball game.

And I just try to, like, just get on to the next possession, no matter what happens, good, bad, or whatever. And just understanding that, you know, there's a lot more possession. You have, you know, you have business to handle and I got to stay in the moment to be able to do that.

- Precious, [INAUDIBLE] pretty tough [INAUDIBLE] for you tonight. How do you feel you guarded him in the game at all?

PRECIOUS ACHIUWA: I think I did-- I think, as a-- as a group, I think we did a good job. On him, obviously, he's gonna get, you know, he's gonna score. He's a high-caliber type player, but I think, collectively, you know, we did a good job with that. Guarding him.

- All right, Josh, [INAUDIBLE] We have a couple of questions online for you. Go ahead, Josh.

- Right on. Hey, Precious. We talked a lot, coming into this, about how the game can really change in the playoffs. I'm wondering, were you guys at all surprised by how much the Sixers changed their style, a little bit, in terms of really running in transition and also crashing the offensive boards a lot more than they usually do?

PRECIOUS ACHIUWA: I mean, we weren't surprised by that. We just kind knew that was coming. But, you know, like I said, the game is-- is a game of runs. They made a run and we tried as much as we could to make our run. I think I-- it was-- it was a point where we cut the lead down to 12.

And just, like I said, it's a game of run, next possession type of basketball. And we just have to come in on Monday and do a better job than we did today and execute better.

- With the-- with the transition points that they had, they had 29 fast break points, but you guys only had eight turnovers. So is there anything you notice about your guys-- you guys kind of failing, maybe, to get back in transition? Or why did they-- why were they able to score so much?

PRECIOUS ACHIUWA: I think it was just-- I think it's just more of a-- I mean, it's one of those games where they only have, I think, three turnovers today. And that's kind of-- that's-- that's not what we as a team believe in, you know, we preach.

Just based on how our team is on set up. A lot of tall guys, long arms or whatever, you know, on defensively-minded-- minded guys and we weren't able to force turnovers today. And I think that gave them an opportunity to get out, you know, in transition and-- and run against us.

- All right, thank you.

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