Achiuwa will come off the bench Saturday against the Pistons, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports. The 21-year-old started the past two games and averaged a double-double, but he'll shift back to the bench with Bam Adebayo (COVID-19 protocols) rejoining Miami's frontcourt Saturday. Achiuwa will have a lessened role off the bench but should still be a part of coach Erik Spoelstra's rotation.
Achiuwa posted 17 points (7-10 FG, 3-4 FT), 13 rebounds, three assists and one block across 36 minutes Tuesday in the Heat's 137-134 overtime loss to the 76ers. With Miami down to just eight available players Tuesday, the rookie first-round pick entered the starting five for the first time and turned in career highs across the board. Achiuwa's stat line was largely underwhelming for the first three and a half quarters, but he came alive late in the contest. Over the final two minutes of the fourth quarter and overtime, Achiuwa collected six of his rebounds and scored eight of his points. Miami is expected to be shorthanded in its rematch with Philadelphia on Thursday, so Achiuwa should once again be in store for elevated minutes.
Achiuwa will start Tuesday's game at Philadelphia. The 21-year-old will receive the first start of his career since Miami has the mandatory minimum of eight players available due to the COVID-19 protocols. Achiuwa is averaging 7.3 points and 4.4 rebounds in 15.1 minutes this season but should see more run Tuesday.
Achiuwa looks to have secured a spot in the Heat's rotation to begin the season. The rookie out of Memphis played 14 minutes off the bench on opening night and followed up with 19 minutes on Christmas Day against the Pelicans before fouling out. Fantasy-wise, Achiuwa's upside is relatively limited, but he should be an efficient scorer around the rim with the potential to provide some rebounds and blocks.
Last 7 Games
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