Toronto Raptors: Malachi Flynn off to strong start in preseason

Malachi Flynn #8 of the Toronto Raptors. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Malachi Flynn #8 of the Toronto Raptors. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

Playing in his first game with the Toronto Raptors, Malachi Flynn shows why he was selected in the first round of the 2020 NBA Draft.

Watching Malachi Flynn take the court for the first time with the Toronto Raptors, he didn’t look like a rookie especially with third overall pick LaMelo Ball on the other side of the court.

It helped that the minutes which would have been given to Kyle Lowry ended up going to Flynn which made it easier for Nick Nurse to manage the rotation. Considering veterans like Lowry don’t necessarily need the reps in exhibition and the shorter break between the end of the season and the upcoming season, a rookie like Flynn needs the time on the court more.

What you want to see from a rookie like Flynn is that he tries to get rid of any nerves, and without any fans in the stands, that might actually be easier. However, the Raptors coach saw a lot of good things from the rookie including a calmness to his game.

"“He’s got a similar demeanour to Fred [VanVleet], I think,” head coach Nick Nurse told TSN’s Josh Lewenberg. “He’s somewhat quiet, yet still a leader. You don’t ever really see him celebrating and you don’t ever see him really down. He’s got that even-keeled kind of game and composure. He’s a good basketball player and he’s got a great mindset.”"

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He went 3-for-6 from three-point range including one from 26-feet out while showing his versatility as a defender. It certainly bodes well for Flynn that he can be a reliable defender going up against NBA talent for the first time and if that can continue then he should see regular minutes this season.

The Raptors probably envision a situation where Fred VanVleet can step in for Lowry when he needs a night off or if injuries become a problem. This will be easier if Nurse can trust Flynn to make progress during training camp.

Of course, this is just one game against a team that finished with a 23-42 record last season. The Raptors face some strong competition in their final preseason game against the Miami Heat depending on who gets on the court in the finale.

By that point, we’ll get a sense of Nurse’s comfort with Flynn and if he can trust him to be a part of the regular rotation early on or if there will be some growing pains.

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What were your thoughts on Flynn’s debut? What are your expectations for him this season? Let us know in the comments below.