While LeBron James has been given much of the focus for the Los Angeles Lakers’ recent run of play, and rightfully so, another big factor for the team lately has been the play of guard Malik Monk.
Monk was recently moved into the starting lineup and since returning from his stint on the NBA’s health and safety protocols, the young guard has been outstanding. Monk is averaging 20.7 points on 56.6% shooting from the field and 45.5% from 3-point range in his six games back.
He finished with 24 points in the team’s most recent victory over the Sacramento Kings as he and James took things over down the stretch.
This run from Monk has given many confidence that he will be one of the most reliable players for the Lakers down the stretch of this season, and Monk believes he can continue this level of play and insists that he will always be ready for the moment when he is called upon.
“I always think that I can do that for any team I be on and I’m ready for the moment whenever it happens,” Monk said. “But we’re short a couple people, but when they come back I’m gonna still be ready and still produce how I am.”
The Lakers undoubtedly need him to continue playing at this level as he is truly one of the team’s best options at creating his own offense in addition to being one of the Lakers’ best shooters.
Against the Kings, Monk shook off a rough first half to bounce back in the second. As for what sparked the turnaround, Monk had a simple explanation.
“I stopped shooting crazy off-the-dribble, stepback threes and got catch-and-shoots and one-dribble pulls,” the Lakers guard noted. “Just better shot selection.”
Monk has turned out to be one of the team’s best signings this season and the fact that the Lakers got him on a minimum contract remains baffling.
But what he has provided this team has been truly outstanding and the Lakers would not be where they are right now without him.
James reveals Lakers were monitoring Monk last season
The Lakers having their eye on Monk is not something that came about this offseason. James revealed that he and then-Lakers assistant coach Jason Kidd would talk regularly about potentially acquiring Monk when he had fallen out of the rotation in Charlotte.
“J. Kidd would talk all the time like, is there a way we can snatch this guy from their roster? So through patience and through timing, we were able to get him this summer, which is still kind of doesn’t make sense to me. But we’re happy to have him, he’s a dynamic player.”
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