I do know what you might be pondering after studying the headline of this text, and to reply your query, no, this is not going to be a 1,100-word essay analyzing how a possible shirtless wrestling match between Dalano Banton and Malachi Flynn would play out (though, that may make for some fascinating dialog). As an alternative, we’re going to interrupt down which one among these guys could be extra useful to the Raptors this postseason. I do know there’s nonetheless loads of basketball to be performed between now and April, nevertheless it’s essential to know the sorts of contributions these two younger guards can present and have already got provided this season, so with out additional ado, let’s start!
Playoff rosters are typically seven or eight gamers deep, relying on roster building and well being. So long as the Raptors keep comparatively wholesome (knock wooden), as presently assembled, they boast a deep roster that allows them to offer eight guys reputable playoff minutes.
Taking place the record, it’s clear that VanVleet, Anunoby, Siakam, Trent Jr., and Scottie Barnes, if out there, will all obtain important taking part in time. Certainly one of Valuable Achiuwa and Khem Birch (if Louis Zatzman has it his means) will most likely be seeing minutes as properly.
That leaves us with room for 2 extra gamers. Chris Boucher, Yuta Watanabe, and Svi Mykhailiuk are worthy candidates for a type of positions, however trying then on the seven guys already taking part in, it’s clear that the rotation wants extra ball-handling. Which means the ultimate spot would both go to Dalano Banton or Malachi Flynn. (Or technically Goran Dragic, however hopefully for each events’ sake, he’s out of Toronto by then.)
So, who could be the extra useful playoff participant for the Raptors this postseason?
On the floor, it doesn’t seem as if a man who’s solely performed 39 whole minutes this season has a lot of an argument for postseason taking part in time; nevertheless, even nice coaches have ignored gamers worthy of taking part in time prior to now (bear in mind the time D’Antoni initially missed this man). Plus, he offers two issues this crew is sorely missing: pull-up capturing and first playmaking.
By the preseason and the common season to this point, Flynn is flattening 40% of his 35 three-point makes an attempt, and within the common season alone, he’s capturing 33% on pull-up three-pointers (per NBA.com). That pattern measurement is small, but when he can persistently present common/barely above-average capturing on average quantity, that may be a step in the appropriate route for a crew that presently sits within the backside third of the league in three-point capturing proportion.
Trae Younger, Donovan Mitchell, and Devin Booker all illustrated to us final postseason the worth of getting a lead ball-handler that’s able to splashing pull-up jumpers and defanging drop protection. Within the couple of minutes that Fred VanVleet sits, Flynn can simulate that means whereas Banton can not.
Talking of ball-handling, Toronto has a handful of fellows which might be good at connecting a passing thread (Anunoby, Barnes, Siakam) however have hardly anybody (apart from VanVleet) that may persistently provoke that thread.
Banton not often creates from a standstill, as a substitute gathering his assists within the half-court after another person creates the benefit after which capitalizing because the connector in that scenario. In Flynn’s case, there have been a number of cases the place he was capable of ignite the passing chain himself by working within the decide and roll or through the use of his tight handles to get downhill penetration.
Discover how within the second play, Flynn is ready to transfer Barrett along with his eyes. That means to govern defenders as a ball-handler turns into much more useful within the playoffs when effort and depth ramps up and alternatives to attain by merely “out keen” your opponent change into more and more scarce.
Basing your offense round scavenging hustle factors, operating out in transition, and crashing the offensive glass turns into far tougher within the playoffs as the sport slows down (therefore why guys like Montrezl Harrell and Ben Simmons are inclined to wrestle). Effectively, Nick Nurse’s borderline revolutionary defensive method that enlists nail defenders to assist off the nook on drives to the rim might permit this ultra-athletic group to interrupt this playoff paradigm.
If that’s the case, and the Raptors are altering playoff basketball, they’re going to need their second-round velocity demon kickstarting the motion.
One of many benefits Banton has over Flynn right here (who, to his credit score, can also be an keen transition participant — each, per Cleansing the Glass, have constructive on/off results on Toronto’s transition frequency) is that his measurement permits him to perform as initiator and finisher in these conditions.
That measurement has labored wonders for him on the opposite finish of the courtroom as properly. As a rookie, he’s already among the many finest within the league at creating occasions on protection, presently rating within the 97th and 77th percentile in block and steal charges for his place, respectively (per Cleansing the Glass).
His penchant for turning into chaos personified on that facet of the ground from the guard place affords the Raptors a degree of matchup versatility that few groups within the league at this time possess, and once they’re trotting out a lineup of him-VanVleet-Siakam-Anunoby-Barnes, an apparent weak hyperlink doesn’t readily exist, and it turns into tough for an opposing crew to try to matchup hunt towards them.
There’s a standard joke amongst American regulation college professors that attorneys go to highschool for 3 years solely to have the ability to inform shoppers, “it relies upon.” I point out this as a result of, on this occasion, you’re my shopper, and as your lawyer, I went by way of all this authorized coaching to reply your query with an — you guessed it — it relies upon!
At this stage of their careers, neither one among these guys is on the star/integral-starter degree but, and due to this, their potential influence in a playoff collection varies tremendously relying on the Raptors’ opponent. In the event that they have been going up towards the Bucks, they must cope with Jrue Vacation — an enormous, sturdy guard that likes posting smaller guys up. In that case, they’d need somebody with a bigger and extra athletic body that may cease the gears from turning on the muscle hamster’s wheel. That’s when they need to flip to a man like Banton. Now, in the event that they have been up towards Trae Younger and the Hawks, they’d desire a sturdy ball-handler who could make him work on protection. And that’s when they need to flip to Flynn.
You might proceed taking part in this sport all day in case you wished to. On the finish of the day, Flynn helps tackle Toronto’s weaknesses, whereas Banton helps bolster its strengths. The purpose right here is that each of those guys can present worth in a playoff setting, and who the more practical participant is will differ relying on the opponents’ personnel.
Battle Royale: Malachi Flynn v. Dalano Banton originated on Raptors Republic.