Charlotte Hornets: Malik Monk’s DNP-CD is a concern

Charlotte Hornets Malik Monk (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Malik Monk (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images) /

 Malik Monk did not play (coaches decision) for the Charlotte Hornets against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night, which was a strange twist that didn’t make much sense.

You knew James Borrego had to make some tweaks to his roster with the injuries to Tony Parker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, but I certainly did not expect one of those tweaks to be taking Malik Monk out of the Charlotte Hornets rotation.

Monk did not get off the bench during Friday’s 109-104 loss to Oklahoma City, which was a big surprise to me. Devonte’ Graham got some run with Parker out, and even Frank Kaminsky played minutes that usually belong to Willy Hernangomez.

While it’s good to play everyone on the roster and give each player a fair shot at minutes, I don’t think taking Monk out of the rotation was a smart move. It’s clear that he isn’t a great defensive player, but he does compete on that end, and brings instant offense off the bench.

Prior to Wednesday’s game against Indiana, Monk had been in a wicked slump, but busted out of it against the Pacers, and in a big way. Monk had 15 points in 19 minutes off the bench, shooting a healthy 4-8 from the floor and 3-6 from downtown.

That’s a very good game, and here I was thinking that this was something he could build off and gain some momentum moving forward. But then, yeah… The feared DNP-CD struck Monk, and the Hornets feel back to the .500 mark with Monk watching from the sideline.

Monk had been steadily losing minutes prior to that match-up with OKC, most likely due to his shooting slump. He had missed 14 consecutive three-pointers, and simply couldn’t get anything to fall.

But, he has shown that he can help this team win games, so lowering his playing time and taking him out of the rotation entirely isn’t a good move, in my opinion.

Dwayne Bacon, who has been playing extremely well for the Charlotte Hornets, could also have something to do with Monk’s declining playing time. Over the last five games, Bacon is averaging 9.6 points and 4.0 rebounds 21.0 minutes.

On the season, Monk is averaging 10.9 points and 2.3 assists in 21.3 minutes. He hasn’t started a single game this year, doing his damage off the bench.

Young players in this league, like Monk, are going to have their struggles. Monk, who is in his second season with the Hornets, is so talented on the offensive end. Borrego needs to roll with him through the ups and downs as we continue the season.

It was a bummer watching Monk sit on the bench for a good portion of his rookie season, and I don’t want to see that happen again. This is a former 11th overall pick that can score in bunches, and needs playing time to grow as a player and learn from his mistakes.

More. Charlotte Hornets Player Grades: Team losses to Thunder. light

The Charlotte Hornets are back in action tomorrow, where they head to Atlanta to face off against the Atlanta Hawks. We’ll see if Coach Borrego will insert Monk back into the rotation, or if he will continue to bench him.