I used to be rummaging by way of some summer time league field scores and seen that Malachi Flynn shot 41.4% from three on 7.3 makes an attempt in summer time league. Through the common season he shot 32.1% on 3.6 makes an attempt. Leaving the standard of competitors caveat apart, it is a marked enchancment for a man whose principal criticism final yr was lack of perimeter capturing. There are minutes freed up with Kyle Lowry’s departure, and the 2 guard candidates are Flynn and Goran Dragic. I don’t see why the Raptors would spend money on Dragic aside from to bump his commerce worth so I’d think about Dragic isn’t taking all of Lowry’s minutes. Nick Nurse might resolve to distribute the Lowry minutes away type diminutive guards and as an alternative give guys like Scottie Barnes or Dalano Banton some gentle level guard duties, however there’s nonetheless spillover there. I’d count on Flynn’s minutes to extend from 19.7 to someplace across the 23-25 vary fairly simply, giving him ample alternative to stake his declare. Nonetheless, he might get squeezed out relying on our dedication to length-and-strength.
Two voids left by Lowry’s departure translate to 2 open questions for the Raptors. Who will provide the management and who will provide the playmaking. Manny lined how Fred VanVleet is poised to take over the management obligations and the overall consensus round playmaking is that it’ll be by committee (what with all these level forwards we’re making an attempt to fabricate). On this context Flynn is an attention-grabbing choice as a result of he’s a playmaker of the normal mould that’s nearer to a one-for-one substitute for Lowry than something the Raptors have. He’s a stable ball handler, superb on-ball defender and although his playmaking is presently questionable, it wants the gasoline of NBA minutes to enhance. These minutes are depending on the group’s pledge towards the length-and-strength experiment as a result of Flynn is neither. That is the place Flynn might lose minutes regardless of being “deserving” of them.
These may be categorized as a pleasant downside to have as a result of competitors inside a workforce is essential, and this Raptors squad can have some animated follow classes to say the least. Take for instance Pascal Siakam and Ishmail Wainright. What number of instances within the final two years did you see Pascal Siakam get completely out-muscled and overpowered by a smaller participant? Might that be as a result of he’s going up in opposition to slighter bench guys like Yuta Watanabe in follow however seeing one thing lots higher in video games? I don’t know, however it’s not an unreasonable hypotheses. Enter a man like Wainright who’s constructed like a tank and has the middle of gravity of a Neutron Star, and abruptly practices turn out to be more difficult, main to higher sport preparation.
Toronto followers have vivid reminiscences of Jayson Tatum navigating over Fred VanVleet to select aside the Raptors within the playoffs. Enter Dalano Banton. This here’s a 6’9″ specimen who can deal with the ball and is liable to terrorize VanVleet in follow. How a lot of a tall, lanky and efficient playmaker has VanVleet or Flynn seen in follow final yr? Not a lot, and it’s cheap to imagine that this prepares them for the actual video games a lot better. A few of these signings might not get quite a lot of enjoying time, however they’re hungry sufficient to need enjoying time and can be keen to make a meal out of the starters in follow to get it.
Let’s do another. Scottie Barnes. It’s effectively established that OG Anunoby might be the Raptors strongest wing participant and Pascal Siakam essentially the most offensively proficient. The size and physicality that Barnes brings to the desk can disrupt each the Raptors key gamers and push their video games additional out. He’ll be capable to contest them in face-up and submit conditions which ought to harden them each. In truth, once you take a look at any of the brand new guys in Wainright, Banton and Barnes, they might simply find yourself making simply as massive an affect not directly be elevating the video games of the Raptors key gamers, than they could dealing with actual competitors.
This clearly isn’t something profoundly new and extra like frequent sense, however it’s not typically we discuss follow matchups and the way they affect sport play. That is very true of youthful gamers who could also be lulled into a way of complacency by dominating practices solely to be shocked at 7:30 PM EST. A part of a rebuild effort is to have consistency in effort and focus all through the rebuild as not every part will likely be about successful video games. We aren’t the Lakers who may see the common season as one thing to coast by way of in order that they arrive on the playoffs wholesome. For the Raptors, the cobblestones of the rebuild are laid within the common season, typically behind closed doorways.
Fiercer Raptors Practices Will Pay Dividends originated on Raptors Republic.