Part of the fun and, simultaneously, the stress of entering this next year of Toronto Raptors fandom is the amount we don’t know. Between the new signings, important trade acquisitions, big-time rookies, and shuffling the entire franchise’s deck, young players like Malachi Flynn and Scottie Barnes will likely be in focus.
Potential is the most dangerous thing in professional sports, but it’s also the most fun. Imagining what a guy could be one day can be as enticing as seeing the results pay off.
One of the most important young guys on the Raptors roster this year is Flynn. Now entering his sophomore season in the NBA, Flynn will have more on his plate than ever before. Trading away Kyle Lowry leaves a lot of available minutes at the point guard position, thrusting Flynn into a greater spotlight whether he’s ready or not.
There are reasons for hope when it comes to seeing more minutes with Malachi on the floor. Winning the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month last April and seeing his numbers improve over the course of the year points to Raptors GM Masai Ujiri finding yet another valuable asset in the lower ends of the NBA Draft.
And yet, Malachi still has a lot to prove. Here are three goals we’d love to see Flynn complete this upcoming NBA Season.
3 goals for Toronto Raptors guard Malachi Flynn to reach.
Mental goal: Be more aggressive
It’s a tough task, getting to the rim as a 6-1 point guard, but if Flynn wants to put pressure on the interior and expand his offensive game, he can’t be afraid to drive the ball.
Flynn took almost 50% of his shots from beyond the 3-point line last season, and while he has proven to be a knockdown shooter at times, that number is far too high for someone who’s best with the ball in his hands.
Flynn only attempted 43 shots at the rim last year, and roughly 59 floaters. While there is some leeway there because of his size and playing style, Flynn needs to improve his attack mentality.
The bright side is he has all the tools to do it. Because of his jump shooting ability, the defense has to play him honestly from the perimeter. He can then use his sound dribble-drive game to get inside. Flynn’s ball-handling is a really underrated part of his game, averaging less than a turnover a game.
Malachi Flynn should try to take it to the rim more often.
Really, this is about Flynn getting comfortable with himself in the league. It isn’t rare for rookies, especially those taken later in the draft, to be tentative when attacking All-Star level defenders.
Flynn isn’t the type to go Mamba mode and try and play 1-on-5, but he has to stay aggressive. It’ll generate better shots for him and further unlock his court vision.