Malik Monk’s hot streak continues as the 23-year-old guard recorded a season-high 29 points in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 134-118 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
Monk has been in phenomenal form since returning from his bout with the coronavirus (COVID-19). During that seven-game stretch, he averaged 21.9 points, shooting 56.3% from the field and 48.2% from downtown.
Head coach Frank Vogel emphasized Monk’s versatility on offense, pointing out he can both get buckets himself and create scoring opportunities for others.
“He’s getting them in a lot of different ways,” Vogel said. “What we love about him is he can create and he can be a finisher when overhelps come, he can knockdown backside threes with high efficiency and obviously you can put the ball in his hands to create as well.”
And he continued: “He’s playing well. I mean, he’s playing really well, there’s no other way to put it. In all ways you can offensively, creating for others, shooting catch-and-shoot threes, attacking the basket, scoring in the midrange, and really competing on the defensive end as well.”
Among factors that contributed to Monk’s form surge, the guard recently said he focused on improving his shot selection, getting rid of “crazy off-the-dribble, setback threes” from his arsenal. The Kentucky alum also explained he doesn’t force shots and instead puts in extra effort to space the floor, “letting the game come to him.”
LeBron James is ‘humbled’ Monk joined Lakers in offseason
LeBron James has revealed the Lakers kept an eye on Monk during the 2020-21 season, leading up to their pursuit of the guard’s signature last summer — facing little competition from other teams.
Since then, James and Monk’s partnership has become a valuable asset for L.A., featuring among the team’s top-10 plus/minus pairings with 3.1 on the season. James explained he’s personally followed the guard’s career for years, allowing the duo to develop chemistry in a short time.
“I’m not figuring out anything, I know his game,” the four-time NBA champion said. “I’ve been watching him since he was in high school. He continues to just get better and better and obviously, he used the offseason as a lot of fuel.
And James added: “Not many teams came calling and I’m happy that when we came calling, he chose us and wanted to be a part of us. I’m very proud of that and humbled.”
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