Precious “Chiubacca” Achiuwa started off his rookie season with a rather sizable role on a Heat team that was just coming off a Finals appearance. Then, as the season progressed, his role got inexorably smaller, until the end of the season in April/May, where he was barely coming off the bench at all and regularly getting DNP-CDs. Usually, rookies progress in the other direction, starting with a small role and then getting progressively more minutes as they become comfortable with the speed, intensity, and high-quality concessions of the professional game.
The early part of the season where Achiuwa got the most minutes is also the part of the season where the Heat struggled the most (remember when they were sitting at 7-14 and their entire fanbase was imploding that they weren’t willing to give up Tyler Herro in a package for James Harden? DownToBuck remembers). So the overall impression I’m getting here is that Achiuwa wasn’t quite ready to contribute to winning basketball as a rookie, and when the Heat decided that they were a winning team after all, Achiuwa didn’t factor into their rotation as much. Which is totally fine. The downside of being a rookie on a good team is that sometimes you’ll just get benched in favor of vets who will do the same things that you do but do them without as many mistakes.
Achiuwa took advantage of the last game of the season to put up the first (but probably not last) twenty-burger of his career. He did a good job catching lobs and putting in work under the basket, but this performance was marked by a noted lack of any outside scoring game at all. It’s worth noting that, as a 6’8″ PF, Achiuwa only attempted a single three-pointer this season. He also only made one midrange jumper out of roughly ten attempts. The gradual disappearance of hustle-and-rebounding-only PF’s like Kenneth Faried does not bode well for Achiuwa’s future unless he adds a jumper. Or he bulks up to 280 pounds, becomes a Shaqalicious force in the paint, and starts screaming all the time like Montrezl Harrell.