Ok, let’s pretend that Steve Clifford is the reason why Malik Monk isn’t playing significant minutes in the NBA.
If we can just watch these highlights from those handful of weeks before Nic Batum had recovered from a wrist injury, we might just be able to convince ourselves that Monk’s offense could compensate for his inability to guard any NBA player at the one or two-guard position.
Note: It looks like these enthusiastic highlight reels are high-quality curated content courtesy of whoever is trying to sell basketball gloves in the pre-roll ads. If you can just get past that, you’ll believe that there really are some excited and dedicated Malik Monk fans out there – not content farms automating highlights for obscure basketball players.
Nevertheless, the YouTube video research does support the theory that when Monk gets hot – he’s pretty darn good. It’s just that the Hornets can’t afford to give him 15-20 shots to find his rhythm every night.
That might be the issue. He needs to play for a team committed to being lousy, so he can just shoot his way through games. Unfortunately, he was picked high by an aspiring team that needed a lot more from a draft pick this past Summer in order to make the Playoffs. If Monk was on the Spurs, he’d never get off the bench. But, maybe the Hornets should accept that they aren’t on par with the Popovichian dynasty and just tell Malik to fire away for 25mins a night.
Without being too hard on the guy, fans should be reminded that he’s still only 20 years old. So, he’s been able to do some good things for a young guy at his first job. If Monk can progress and build his skillset as a pro, maybe we’ll see him in the rotation next year. Then, it would be nice to watch him evolve and make the push into the starting five. Thus far, that seems pretty lofty for the rookie we’ve seen. Yet, Malik is the irrational confidence guy on the roster and I’d bet that he’s targeting All-Star MVP for 2019.
Let’s put it out there, already. Could Malik Monk be an NBA All-Star someday?