The most unlikely game in NBA history shouldn't change anything for the Pistons

Apr 3, 2024; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Malachi Flynn (14) shoots
Apr 3, 2024; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Malachi Flynn (14) shoots / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Malachi Flynn had one of the most unlikely games in NBA history for the Detroit Pistons. 

We’re used to seeing monster offensive games now, especially against the Hawks, who had already allowed 73 points to Luka Doncic and 60 to Stephen Curry this season. You’d expect it from those two guys, but not from journeyman Malachi Flynn, a player with a career 5.2ppg average who is fighting for a rotation spot on the worst team in the league. 

Kudos to Flynn, who put on a classic old-school small guy performance that was a joy to watch. He splashed in floaters, got to the rim, hit pull-up 3-point shots and dissected the Hawks’ pathetic defense, which is 27th in the NBA. 

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Flynn was just the 3rd player in NBA history to score 50+ off the bench (the other two were Jamal Crawford and Nick Anderson) and he may not have even come off it had Cade Cunningham not taken the night off with knee maintenance. Flynn can score, but no one would have bet on this, and his night has to rank as one of the most unlikely performances in the history of the game given the context.

But it shouldn’t change anything for the Pistons. 

The Detroit Pistons and Malachi Flynn 

Malachi Flynn will be a restricted free agent after this season with a qualifying offer of $5.8 million, which the Pistons should want no part of. 

Detroit needs an upgrade at guard behind Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey. Flynn is a player who barely got off the bench for better teams in Toronto and New York and is a career 38 percent shooter from the floor and 33 percent from long range. 

He was spectacular last night and has had a couple of nice games with the Pistons, but they need a veteran off the bench who can give them consistent scoring, playmaking and defense. Flynn is 6-foot-1, so not a good match with Ivey or Sasser defensively and the Pistons could replace his offense with a minimum player. 

The Pistons already have four young guards (Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Marcus Sasser, Quentin Grimes) under contract for next season, so it makes sense to add a consistent veteran to complement them, an upgrade Detroit should look for this offseason.