Malik Monk has been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise tumultuous year for the Los Angeles Lakers thus far. Between highlight reel dunks and scorching hot shooting nights, Monk has been responsible for a larger-than-expected percentage of the Lakers’ success this season.
Athleticism and shooting are defining features of Monk’s game, making him the perfect type of player for All-Star Weekend’s Saturday night festivities. Namely, the Slam Dunk Contest and the 3-Point Contest, which remain two staples of All-Star Weekend.
The four competitors for this year’s Slam Dunk contest were revealed with Jalen Green, Obi Toppin, Cole Anthony, and Juan Toscano-Anderson making the final cut. There were no rumors about Monk ever competing in this event, likely due to not being invited by the NBA.
When asked if he was disappointed to not receive an invite, he surprisingly said his preference would be Saturday night’s other headlining event. “Not really disappointed. I would rather shoot threes, to be honest. So I’m kind of disappointed I didn’t get invited to the 3-Point Contest. But other than that, it’s all good, I’ll get there someday.”
Monk is shooting an impressive 39.9% from beyond the arc, and is doing so on a career-high 5.6 attempts per game.
The NBA’s 3-point shootout has eight competitors, usually being a mix of the league’s best shooters coupled with some superstars who have been perhaps less efficient from beyond the arc. While Monk did miss the final cut, it probably wasn’t by much.
Regardless, Monk is looking to continue his hot shooting for the Lakers. Since Christmas Day of 2021, he is shooting an absurd 43.1% from beyond the arc while taking 6.7 threes per game.
Monk to continue starting amid injuries
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel is still trying to figure out how to mix and match lineups without the full health of his roster. In the meantime, with key players out, Monk appears to be in line for a consistent role in the starting lineup.
“He had 33 points as a starter last game, so I would say he’s going to be starting again and he picks up a big chunk of the scoring load with LeBron [James] out,” Vogel said.
“We use him in the second unit. That’s something that’s been a positive of ours… When a player is that hot, you got to maximize his usage. I would say he’s likely to stay in the starting lineup, yes.”
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