Miami’s Biggest Upcoming Adjustment Involves Precious Achiuwa

I’ve spent a lot of time diving into Precious Achiuwa’s games this season, since his individual play has been so outstanding in these circumstances.

For one, coming into the NBA after a long layoff, and being thrown right into the rotation on a team that just made the finals says enough about him as a player. The reason he was granted this role is because he was needed as a relief when Bam Adebayo exited the floor.

But he’s much more than that now.

The Miami Heat just lost to the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night, and it wouldn’t have been close if Precious Achiuwa didn’t get inserted to end the third quarter and begin the fourth quarter.

As seen there, his offensive presence was what gave Miami the spark they needed, but his involvement on each and every play is the part that truly stands out.

Instead of diving into his individual play yet again, it’s time to discuss the next step, since it seems like it’s coming real soon.

As mentioned previously, he’s no longer the rookie who can come in for their centerpiece Bam Adebayo for small stretches. He’s now the guy they need on the floor to win games. The issue is that Coach Spoelstra does not want to go the route of playing Bam and Precious together, and since there are so many players out, Bam got an even larger increase in minutes. And subsequently, that meant Precious’ minutes got decreased.

Now, I’m not saying it’s as simple as just throwing them both in the game together all the time, since there are still question marks about the offensive stance. But when Miami’s playing in games with 5 bench players that include Gabe Vincent, Max Strus, KZ Okpala, Udonis Haslem, and Precious Achiuwa, it seems to be the time to try things like that for decent stretches.

Miami just getting fully healthy is the number one priority right now, but what will Achiuwa’s role be when that occurs? Will it be a situational spark player? Well, that could be what he is, but it seems like he is trending in the direction of being more than just a spark.

The other intriguing part about him is his growing offensive connection with Tyler Herro. In the second half against the Clippers, the Herro-Achiuwa pick and roll was the only efficient offensive set Miami ran. This is very promising for Miami’s future, if these two are playing at this level together in just a few games.

But it’s no longer about looking at things as “promising” or for the “future.” The Heat are now in need for immediate impact, especially since there is uncertainty about who will even play on a nightly basis.

And the reason I have a feeling that is coming for Precious Achiuwa is because there’s a certain trust level there. This team notices that Precious consistently gives them the same exact thing every night. And as much as Coach Spo discussed “simplifying” the game for Precious, it seems like Precious will be pushed for an early leap only 18 games into his NBA career, which says a lot about him as a player.

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