Amit Mann and Asad Alvi discuss what Precious Achiuwa has shown since he's returned from injury and the improvements he's made in his court awareness. Listen to the full episode on the 'Raptors Over Everything' podcast feed.
AMIT MANN: Precious Achiuwa, I tweeted this a few days ago. He's-- his net rating over the past six games is the best on the Raptors among players who are averaging at least 27 minutes per game at 2.2.
So that's not even actually that good. But at the same time, this shows the impact of Precious Achiuwa. I just love the physicality he's bringing constantly.
Like, I love that how when a cutter goes through the-- goes through the lane, he just, like, pushes them. He just keeps on doing that. And I think that's his influence.
He wants to be that rim protector. He wants to provide toughness. And the Raptors just need that. They need his spirit and his just willingness to get dirty and muck it up.
And then offensively, the 3 point shot has been good. And he's not even taking that many. I just really like his decision making.
I think he's being a lot more well aware of how to play winning basketball, put it that way. When it comes to, hey, OK, so I could take this 3 point shot. Maybe I could just take a few dribbles in and just bump this small guy in front of me and get a layup out of it.
Or you know what? Maybe I'll just, like, find Juancho or Gary Trent Jr. out by above the break for an open 3. It's, like, little things like that that he wasn't doing last season.
And it's not even, like-- I don't think that's him being selfish. I think that's him just, like, taking what's in front of him. But now, it's, like, another level up, where he's seeing what's in front of him, and he's seeing the better play available. And that's really impressive, that thing to see from him. I'm sure watching basketball over the past little while has certainly helped him see some of these things, and I'm excited to see just the impact he can make because obviously--
ASAD ALVI: The one thing--
AMIT MANN: Yeah, go ahead.
ASAD ALVI: The one thing that's amazing about Precious Achiuwa is that he is so athletic that he's the one player in the NBA where it feels like the court is too small for him. A lot of times--
AMIT MANN: Seriously.
ASAD ALVI: --when you watch college basketball, those NBA prospects are like, oh, the college Court is just too small for him. No.
AMIT MANN: Yeah.
ASAD ALVI: For Precious Achiuwa, the NBA court is too small for him. He-- like, I still always say that he would be an Olympian. Like, he would be an Olympian in gymnastics-- like, gold medal.
AMIT MANN: No doubt.
ASAD ALVI: The guy has incredible body control. He's an unreal athlete. And I think one of the things, even comparing-- not even to last season, but at the beginning of this season was he started off almost feeling like-- I don't want to say effort, but just, like, not-- like, he was-- you didn't see many full sprints from Precious up and--
AMIT MANN: I get what you're saying. I get it.
ASAD ALVI: Since he's come back, it is everything has a purpose. He's going full speed. And it's more just like, hey, I'm going to go as hard as I can at this offensive rebound, at this cut, this seam that opened up. I'm going to hit it as hard as I can.
And then good things end up happening. You know, we get crazy plays here and there, but that's the magic of Precious Achiuwa, and that's what makes them so enjoyable to watch. And as he slowly starts to mix that together, again, one of the things that makes Pascal Siakam so elite isn't just that he has so many moves, so many skills, all the footwork.
It's the speed at which he executes those things, right? So as Precious combines both the speed that he plays at with a little bit more skill, a little bit more seasoning, that makes him just a much more interesting player. And that's why he can go from looking like, ah, does he know how to play basketball to the greatest player in the NBA.
AMIT MANN: Yeah, yeah.
ASAD ALVI: Like, from possession to possession. It should be fun to see him on this road trip kind of unlock that.
AMIT MANN: I mean this nicely. He's got twitchy explosion. Like, the way he gets from one step to the next one to being at the rim to even his second jump, third jump, how quickly he does all these things. Like you said, gymnastics, wide receiver, whatever-- like, the talent is there. He could be in a lot of different sports professionally.