3 ways to improve the Raptors’ league-worst bench scoring
The Toronto Raptors have now lost nine of their last 12 games following a very tough loss against the Boston Celtics, and this losing streak has turned up the scrutiny on the bench. Players like Malachi Flynn, Svi Mykhailiuk, and Yuta Watanabe are part of the worst offensive bench unit in the NBA. This has to make Nick Nurse irate.
The Raptors were getting just 24.5 points a night from their bench this season coming into their tussle with Boston, and they put up just 13 points against the Celtics. Flynn had eight of those 13, while Isaac Bonga and Dalano Banton failed to record a single point in this game.
Even when the Raptors get all of their starters back, the lack of skill on the bench is going to prevent them from coming out on top in some very winnable games. When a second-round rookie in Banton and Khem Birch have been two of your best bench players, that’s a huge flaw.
Nurse can’t just sit on the sidelines and allow this team to just keep getting beaten into submission. He needs to do something to shake up this struggling unit. Perhaps one of these 3 quick fixes may be able to give that group the kick in the rear it needs to be successful.
3 ways the Toronto Raptors can fix their bench.
3. Give Malachi Flynn more minutes
Flynn’s first half against Boston, in which he played more minutes than Banton, showed that he is still capable of producing solid offensive showing when he is given a long leash. While he has some flaws that have yet to be ironed out, the struggling Raptors might be forced to throw him back into the fire.
Flynn tallied eight points, three rebounds, and three assists on 3-8 shooting in 15 minutes. While this wasn’t the type of performance that will make Nurse sign his praises from the highest mountaintops, it was one of his stronger games of the season. Will this end his exile to the bench?
Will the Toronto Raptors unleash Malachi Flynn?
Flynn’s poor shooting percentages might not make him seem like a solid offensive option, but his film against Boston showed that the tight handle, willingness to rise up from 3-point range, and quality passing Masai Ujiri saw at San Diego State is still there. As good as Banton has been, he isn’t the most dynamic offensive player at this point.
If Nurse continues with this trend and plays Flynn over Banton, it may just wake this offense up. While his hot finish to 2020-21 may seem like a distant memory to some, it showed that Flynn is capable of being a quality scorer at the professional level. On a Raptors team leaking coolant, Flynn might be what gets things turned around.