Raptors rookie guard Malachi Flynn was named the NBA’s Eastern Conference rookie of the month for April. This marks the first time that a Raptors rookie has won it since Norman Powell took home the award in April of the 2015-2016 season.
With Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet both missing time, Flynn has been given the chance to show his stuff as part of the starting lineup. Out of the 9 games he’s started, the team has 5 wins 4 losses.
In April, Flynn’s averages sit at 12.7 points, 4.8 assists, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game, all the while playing great defence on opposing guards. Coach Nick Nurse has always been one to reward players for strong defence, and Flynn has reaped those benefits.
One of his best games in April came on the 13th against the Atlanta Hawks. Flynn dropped a career high 22 points. He went on a 12 point run in the fourth quarter to almost complete a Raptors comeback in the game against the Hawks.
“It’s really valuable for him to be out there down the stretch these last two games,” said Nurse after Flynn’s clutch play on April 13th. “One real tough game at Madison Square Gardens, and then tonight he was pretty much our offence.”
The 22 year old, now nicknamed “Red VanVleet,” has been a revelation for the team after his return from the G-League earlier this season. It’s safe to say the rookie, formerly drafted 29th overall, has exceeded expectations, and has now carved out a steady role on the team.
SOURCES: BASKETBALL-REFERENCE.COM, TSN.CA, THEATHLETIC.COM, SI.COM