It’s not often in life that things – simply put – go your way. But, for the Raptors they’ve found themselves in an advantageous spot. The second night of a back-to-back against a team they just hammered, and that team doesn’t look to be getting any reinforcements.
The vibes are running high, basketball is hot in the streets, and Malachi Flynn appears to have escaped what Eric Flynn refers to as: Nick’s Nursery. Flynn is operating as a sort of nom de plume for the Raptors bench. Extra time, extra possessions and a return on that investment for the team. Gary Trent Jr. struggled to some degree, Pascal Siakam is still mired in an almost laughable shooting slump (that will end), Fred VanVleet was out – and the Raptors still won.
They were powered by Scottie Barnes historic tip-ins, Flynn’s consistent ‘pnr’ output, and the pre-season stylings of Precious Achiuwa. Pressure defense, pressure offense, and the Raptors made diamonds. It’s imperative that the Raptors find something that works to help out their incumbent stars, and if these games serve to introduce the lesser used players into roles that they’ll eventually succeed in? Then they’re almost as valuable as the W they put in the corresponding column.
According to Play Index, Scottie Barnes has tied the all-time record (since 1996-97, when they started tracking it) for most tip-ins in a single game
— Louis Zatzman (@LouisZatzman) March 1, 2022
So, we get an opportunity to watch the Raptors attempt to do the same thing today. I don’t think there’ll be any changes on the Nets end, and if Nurse was at all entertaining the idea of giving VanVleet two games off? Flynn’s performance should have provided enough to convince him to give his star guard an extra day.
Will we see the culmination of the ideal versions of Barnes, Flynn, and Achiuwa all together again? Unlikely, but it’s easy to expect more offensive pop from Siakam and Trent Jr. to paper over any difference in that regard.
The East is a fight. You have to grab two when you can.
Toronto Raptors Results, Lineups & Injuries
Brooklyn Nets Results, Lineups & Injuries