Toronto Raptors

Malachi Flynn: Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse raves about potential of rookie guard

Toronto Raptors guard Malachi Flynn continues to impress in his rookie season.

Three days after putting forth a 20-point, 11-assist performance in a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, Flynn set a new career-high with 22 points, fueled by a personal 12-0 run in the final minutes of the fourth quarter to cut the Raptors' deficit to two points before suffering a five-point loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

TAKEAWAYS: Raptors late rally falls short against Hawks

After the game, head coach Nick Nurse had plenty of positive words to say about the 22-year-old and his upside.

"I think that, for a rookie, he's showing some good early flashes," Nurse told reporters, per TSN's Josh Lewenberg.

"I don't worry about much with him," Nurse continued. "He's a super hard worker, he's tough, I think he's a winner, and I just think that he'll only get better with more minutes on the court."

Recent injuries to Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet, who were both inactive vs. the Hawks, have resulted in more playing time for Flynn, who is averaging 33.5 minutes of playing time over the last seven games. In that span, the rookie is posting averages of 14.3 points, 5.6 assists and 4.9 rebounds while shooting 43.2 percent from the field and 43.6 percent from beyond the arc.

Nurse's words come just 48 hours after Lowry spoke highly of the growth and maturation of Flynn's game.

Against the Hawks, Flynn finished the night shooting 8-for-18 from the field and 6-for-13 from deep, with five of his triples coming in the fourth quarter and four coming in the game's final three minutes. Flynn entered the league with the pedigree of a winner and hard worker on both ends of the floor, as he was named Mountain West Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in his final season at San Diego State.

After an impressive preseason and rocky start to the year, a stint with the Raptors 905 in the G League bubble seems to have prepared Flynn for the larger role that has come his way in recent weeks. As he continues to develop within this Raptors system, his constant improvement will be a key to the future success of this franchise.

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