Precious Achiuwa wasn’t the primary discussion following yesterday’s final preseason game against the Raptors, since KZ Okpala got to prove himself and Max Strus came out firing.
Although those were outstanding performances, Precious’ performance should not be overlooked.
13 points and 15 rebounds in only 22 minutes is incredible on its own, but when you throw in the fact that it was his second NBA game after not playing in the Summer League elevates it even more.
As Bam Adebayo said following yesterday’s game, “Just imagine if he played 30 minutes, he’d have a 20/20 game.”
Precious talked about taking pride on the glass, and that’s clear when you watch him play. He’s just constantly running up and down the floor, which is why the first word people use to describe Precious is energy.
I mentioned he’d need to polish up some things involving the pick and roll, setting better screens instead of slipping every time, and he did exactly that.
And his burst of energy off the roll seems to align with Goran Dragic’s type of play, since he got a couple easy buckets off of Goran lobs.
As much as I can dive into his actual play yesterday, this is the one time the stats speak loud enough. The minutes that many rookies have been playing around the league in this preseason are much more than Precious has gotten, and not many can come close to that type of stat line. Most of them are just looking to get 13 points, since that’s an accomplishment of its own.
As mentioned before, rookies have been the big question mark this season with the unique route they’ve had to take. Most guys are just getting thrown into the fire to see how they react, and well, Precious has reacted pretty well.
The number one thing you want to see a young player do is learn quickly. And he improved in every area that I discussed from the first game on Monday to the second game on Friday. And that’s impressive.
Coach Spo has some young weapons that he can utilize in different ways, and with Precious continually mentioning his relationship with Bam Adebayo, and trying to reiterate the things he does on the basketball court, tells me he may get some energy minutes early in the season when Bam goes to the bench.