Knicks’ Precious Achiuwa Matches Anthony Mason In This Stat

Precious Achiuwa, Knicks, NBA
Feb 8, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks forward Precious Achiuwa (5) lays the ball up for a basket during the second half against the Dallas Mavericks at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

There may not be a team in the NBA looking forward to the All-Star break more than the New York Knicks. Since defeating the Miami Heat on January 27th, they have been hit hard by the injury bug.

That was the last time we saw OG Anunoby and Julius Randle on the court, as both players are dealing with multi-week injuries. Anunoby had surgery to remove bone spurs from his right elbow and Randle is recovering from a separated shoulder suffered against the Heat.

With Mitchell Robinson already sidelined because of ankle surgery he underwent in early December, the injury report has been lengthy. His replacement Isaiah Hartenstein is dealing with Achilles soreness and third-stringer Jericho Sims is battling an illness.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Precious Achiuwa, Anthony Mason, Bojan Bogdanovic, Isaiah Hartenstein, New York Knicks Updates

Before being traded to the Detroit Pistons ahead of the NBA Trade Deadline, Quentin Grimes was dealing with a knee injury as well. That is a lot of their rotation being sidelined, pushing some players into big roles with heavy minutes.

One of the last men standing was Precious Aciuwa. He has slid into the starting power forward spot for Randle and has been used as the team’s backup center. That has led to the most playing time over a single stretch in his career.

Achiuwa has logged 40+ minutes in six straight games, the longest of his career. According to Tommy Beer on X, he is the first Knicks player to play 40+ minutes in at least six straight games since Anthony Mason in April of 1996. Before him, it was Patrick Ewing in January of 1994.

Getting Sims back in the lineup, who is probable against the Houston Rockets, would be helpful in cutting down on Achiuwa’s minutes. But, he is in for a long night minutes-wise if Hartenstein isn’t healthy to go as there would be a ton of minutes to fill in the middle.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Precious Achiuwa, Anthony Mason, Bojan Bogdanovic, Isaiah Hartenstein, New York Knicks Updates

There is certainly a strong chance Achiuwa surpasses the 40-minute mark for a seventh straight game on Monday night. As long as Randle is sidelined, he is going to log heavy minutes as Randle is averaging 35.5 minutes per game this season

The addition of Bojan Bogdanovic ahead of the NBA trade deadline, along with Alec Burks, at least provides Tom Thibodeau with another option for power forward. But, Bogdanovic and Achiuwa are totally different players. They could see minutes together with Achiuwa at the five-spot if Hartenstein is unable to go.

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