1 rotation change Nick Nurse must make to fix Raptors’ shooting

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - APRIL 16: Head coach Nick Nurse of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - APRIL 16: Head coach Nick Nurse of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

No matter what combination of players Nick Nurse and the Toronto Raptors seem to trot out there, they just can’t seem to make enough 3-pointers to keep up with some of the best teams in the league. The lack of solid perimeter play is starting to reach unacceptable levels.

The Raptors made 50% of their shots, only committed seven turnovers, and got 66 points from Scottie Barnes and Fred VanVleet in their matchup against the Sacramento Kings. Despite that, a 21-point, 20-rebound night from Domantas Sabonis helped the Kings pull off a 124-123 win.

The Raptors have shot under 30% from 3-point range in six of their last eight games, and they’ve only won two of those games (home wins against the lowly Magic and depleted Lakers). Sacramento made 17 3-pointers on the night to Toronto’s six, further proving that the Raptors’ current offensive style is unsustainable.

While Nurse’s options for improving this team in the short-term are somewhat limited due to the nature of how the roster is constructed, there are some changes he can fiddle around with. Inserting Malachi Flynn back into the rotation should deserve some consideration.

Should the Toronto Raptors utilize Malachi Flynn?

Yes, we’re in Year 2 of Flynn/Dalano Banton debates and Year 3 of begging Nurse to let Malachi cook. However, when the offense is currently fraying at the seams like a post-iceberg Titanic and Flynn is marinating in his team-issued warmups on the bench, it’s more confusing than ever as to why Nurse won’t put him in the game.

Flynn is the only player on the team attempting more than one 3-pointer per game that is drilling more than 35% of his triples, and he’s doing so at an obscene 48% rate. That percentage won’t last, obviously, but it does show that he made considerable improvements in that area during the offseason.

Turning a 6-1 point guard into essentially a 3-point specialist might sound odd, but do the Raptors have many better options at this point? Every standout shooter from last year has regressed.

Flynn has been dying for some sort of consistent role in the NBA, and this could give him a shot to stick with the club in 2023 and beyond. If the pro-am legend was in the game against Sacramento and hit a couple of triples, is the scoreline the same?

Flynn is a rudderless ship right now, as he’s crying out for some sort of defined role. Toronto has been praised over the years for its player development and structure, but none of that seems to apply to him. By making him the ninth man and giving him the green light from deep, Flynn’s NBA career can get back on track.

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