In the opinion of Miami Heat big man Bam Adebayo, veteran guard Goran Dragic deserves praise for the impressive early play of the team’s top draft pick, Precious Achiuwa.
Taken with the 20th overall pick in last month’s NBA draft, Achiuwa has started off making a positive impression through the aid of Dragic, which Adebayo has definitely noticed.
“That’s the Slovenian captain,” Adebayo said. “But G (Dragic) is one of those guys, he’s easy to play along with. He’s an easy teammate to have on your team. He does what he’s supposed to do, and he also get you the ball.
“He wants Precious to score. He wants Precious to do the little things and he congratulates him by giving him the ball, throwing him lobs. That’s how you get rookies kind of get their feet wet: keep giving them the ball and keep feeding them. Goran has been feeding him positive energy, so [Achiuwa] has been playing well.”
In Achiuwa’s first two games, he’s put up averages of 9.5 points and 3.0 rebounds per game, while averaging just 16.5 minutes of on-court action in those contests.
Adebayo also started his Heat career with lower statistical numbers, but has since blossomed into one of the most productive players in the paint.
Dragic is undoubtedly enthusiastic about being back with the Heat after an injury-plagued finals possibly cost the Heat a chance at an NBA title. In addition, his status as a free agent during the brief offseason put his future with the team in limbo.
The expectation is that Achiuwa will continue to develip his game, whether it’s Dragic or another Heat veteran helping him along. That’s been the Heat culture for years and shows no signs of changing in the future.