Raptors’ Malachi Flynn prepared for larger position after 12 months as understudy to Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet – The Athletic
Flynn’s most vital development, although, is much less tangible. Whereas he solely performed six G League video games and missed a very good chunk of time after contracting COVID, the latter a part of Flynn’s rookie 12 months was near a super developmental alternative. Not solely was Flynn getting common minutes — he even began 14 video games and received Jap Convention Rookie of the Month for April — he additionally had the good thing about Lowry and VanVleet teaching him alongside. Watch any sport from down the stretch of the Raptors’ 2020-21 season and also you’ll see Lowry, VanVleet or each grabbing Flynn in a huddle off to the facet at each timeout.
“It was a bizarre 12 months, simply basically. I imply, from going to the G League bubble, come out of it, getting COVID, sitting out for 2 weeks, it was lots of up and down, not enjoying, enjoying,” Flynn stated. “However general, once I look again at, I believe it was good for me, simply to form of see how the league goes, how the league works. After which particularly studying from Kyle, form of him simply taking, a giant brother position. I couldn’t ask for way more as a rookie coming in and seeing him and every thing that he’s executed. So positively I used to be glad that I not less than had him for a 12 months.”
Lowry’s most elite ability is a tough one to move on: Methods to make these round you higher. Lowry nudged him to take extra of a floor-general position, a management duty that doesn’t all the time come naturally for the extra reserved Flynn. Flynn believes he picked up loads about learn how to manage his group and set a tempo and a tone from watching Lowry, and it’s that stage of calmness and collective goal that he’s hoping to instill in teammates transferring ahead.
A few of that falls into management by instance. In his temporary G League stint final 12 months, Mutombo received on Flynn to be extra aggressive and disruptive defensively, one thing that Nick Nurse additionally talked about early in Flynn’s NBA alternatives. In Las Vegas, Mutombo wanted Flynn to not solely be the steadying power with the ball; he wanted extra direct management for a reasonably inexperienced group.
“He’s getting there,” Mutombo stated. “I believe he understands. And, you understand, his persona is laid again. He’s a humorous child. However he’s been climbing into the ball and form of main by instance, and when essential, give us his voice, additionally.”
There was a coherent throughline in every thing the group has executed with Flynn the final 12 months. He’s properly conscious of what Lowry’s departure means for him this coming season, the place the backup level guard position is his with out a lot query and he may even push to begin or shut some video games, relying on what Nurse envisions on the capturing guard place.
If Lowry’s tutelage was a broader half-year crash course on level guard play, VanVleet provides an ongoing seminar course with one overarching message.
“I believe everyone can see the place the chance is,” Flynn stated. “I’m simply making an attempt to do my factor, proceed to get higher after which step up when my identify known as. Fred is actual good with that, simply telling me little issues right here and there. He’s reiterated to me that it’s an opportunity to step up. I imply, you don’t know what it’s going to appear like, however you do know you’ll have an opportunity to step up, and whenever you get that probability, you bought to return up and present him that you just received higher. In order that’s the primary factor me and him form of speak about: Simply be prepared for the chance.”
NBA Energy Rankings, post-free-agency version – How massive was the summer season shakeup? – ESPN
20. Toronto Raptors
2020-21 document: 27-45
2022 title odds: +10000
Publish-Finals rating: 19
Kyle Lowry heading to the Miami Warmth in a sign-and-trade firstly of free company formally introduced the golden age of Raptors basketball to an finish. However behind a younger core of Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby, Toronto will count on to stay an element within the Jap Convention. The choice that can loom over Toronto for years to return, nevertheless, was the selection of Scottie Barnes over Jalen Suggs with the fourth general decide. The futures of these two gamers might be tied transferring ahead consequently. — Bontemps
NBA offseason grades, participant motion: Lakers, Knicks, Warriors revamp rosters; Blazers, Pelicans underwhelm – CBSSports.com
The Raptors stunned lots of draft analysts by choosing Barnes over Jalen Suggs, then picked up Dragic within the Lowry sign-and-trade to man the purpose in the meanwhile. Outdoors of these two, the Raptors didn’t actually add a lot when it comes to win-now assist, which makes you marvel what the long run entails for gamers like Dragic and Pascal Siakam. As of now Toronto seems to be caught between a rebuild and competing for a playoff spot — a precarious place to be within the NBA — however extra strikes may very well be forthcoming. Grade: B-minus
‘In Masai we belief.’ How the Raptors’ boss grew to become Toronto’s most influential sports activities govt | The Star
It helps, after all, that Ujiri has delivered on all of his daring guarantees and that he’s taken followers on a wild, unprecedented journey.
The Raptors’ 2019 championship was superb, however so too was the build-up to it. He expects an identical journey will start anew within the coming seasons, and given his monitor document it’s foolish to doubt him.
“For me, it’s the truth that he speaks to the center of the matter. He addresses how ‘we’ really feel as followers … and he truly acknowledges the narrative of not wanting to return to this metropolis, and speaks to it. He finds methods to work inside it,” stated Shannon Armstrong, a Toronto-area entrepreneur.
“He’s not going to provide the particulars, however alludes to sufficient that you understand the place the group stands. He believes in himself and the group and his group so immensely that his confidence is palpable.”
But it surely’s greater than that.
He’s preached social duty because the day he received right here, and it’s given the fan base extra causes to rally round: Black Lives Matter, instructional packages for ladies and boys in Africa, BIPOC points in Canada. He fights the great fights, giving followers somebody they are often happy with and need to be related to.
“There are going to be issues that we’ve got to do as a company that I believe (are) going to be separate from the job, my job description as president of basketball operations,” he stated. “I have a look at social justice and even the alternatives for the BIPOC group right here. I believe there may be going to be extra that we’re going to need to do.”
He rhymes off packages with the NBA and the gamers’ affiliation, NBA Africa and its sports activities and academic initiatives, Canada Basketball’s developmental system. A gamut of initiatives that followers need to be a part of, and are happy with Ujiri for pursuing.
It’s a unique period, for certain. No sports activities govt in Toronto has had the identical alternatives, causes and platform that Ujiri has. He is aware of it, and it’s no small cause why he determined to re-up with the Raptors and Maple Leaf Sports activities and Leisure.
Toronto Raptors 2021-22 schedule breakdown: Key video games, dates, and season preview – Raptors HQ
The Raptors will journey roughly 40,000 miles (64,373.76 kilometres) this season, which ranks them ninth-lowest within the league. That is partly as a result of their opponents are in considerably proximity with one another when the Raptors go on highway journeys.
Close to the energy of schedule and anticipated wins, the Raptors are in rivalry to be not less than within the run for a play-in spot. Nevertheless, it received’t be straightforward. Vegas has them round 36/37 wins on the season, however they’ve the seventh hardest schedule primarily based on the win share of groups within the 2020-21 season. With Pascal Siakam set to overlook time as he recovers from his shoulder harm, the Raptors will want each little bit of luck and a reasonably wholesome group to succeed in that estimate.
NBA: Toronto Raptors schedule highlights for 2021-22 season – Yahoo!
This might be a season of reunions and correct goodbyes
Given the roster turnover because the group final performed in Toronto, it ought to come as no shock there might be loads of reunion movies at Scotiabank Area this season.
We begin on Oct. 25 when DeMar DeRozan and the Chicago Bulls go to. DeRozan’s earlier two video games in opposition to Toronto at Scotiabank Area had been classics, so the bar is excessive.
Danny Inexperienced, who has received one other championship and performed on two completely different groups since he left the Raptors after the 2018-19 season, seems to be like he’ll lastly get to gather his championship ring from MLSE when the Philadelphia 76ers play right here on Dec. 28.
A number of days later, Serge Ibaka will make his first return to Toronto when the Clippers are available on Dec. 31. Kawhi Leonard is anticipated to overlook most of this upcoming season, so I’m going out on a limb and saying he received’t be right here on New Yr’s Eve.
Jonas Valanciunas will lastly play his first sport as an opponent at Scotiabank Area on Jan. 9 when the New Orleans Pelicans come to city.
Two weeks later, Norman Powell and the Portland Path Blazers might be right here for a sport on Jan. 23. Marc Gasol and the Los Angeles Lakers roll in on March 18.
I believe these are all the numerous reunions, which brings us to the primary occasion:
Kyle Lowry’s return set for Feb. 3
This might be a Thursday evening sport on TNT and might be a really emotional evening. Lowry has already instructed reporters he might be crying in his return, and many followers on the area and watching at house might be, too.
I might be to see the gang’s response when Lowry inevitably attracts a cost on Barnes within the second quarter.
One other subplot to observe is that if any present Raptor pays tribute to Lowry by carrying a throwback jersey of his to the world. I’ve received 4 candidates: Fred VanVleet, Barnes, Trent Jr., and Dalano Banton.
Tip Sam Holako
Morning Espresso – Tue, Aug 24 originated on Raptors Republic.