Charlotte Hornets: Malik Monk shows Knicks what they missed in 2017

Charlotte Hornets Malik Monk (Photo by Brock Williams-Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Malik Monk (Photo by Brock Williams-Smith/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Charlotte Hornets guard Malik Monk had a fourth quarter explosion on Monday night against a Knicks team that nearly drafted him in 2017.

Two points. That’s the amount of points Malik Monk had for the Charlotte Hornets entering the fourth quarter in Monday night’s win over New York.

Fourteen points. That’s the amount of points Malik Monk ended up with for the Hornets, providing the team a huge lift in the fourth quarter of a game that Charlotte, quite frankly, needed to win.

It was a must-win game considering every game from here on out is huge for the franchise. The Hornets are going to need to take care of business and beat the teams that they are supposed to beat, and Monk helped the Hornets succeed with a win on Monday.

It was really pretty close for the entire game. The game was tied going into the fourth quarter, and needed someone to deliver in a big way with Kemba Walker struggling. Monk, the second year pro from Kentucky, stepped up and scored 12 fourth quarter points.

Monk hit four three-pointers in the quarter and was a big reason why the Hornets were able to pull away with a win.

You have to wonder if the Knicks have any regret taking Frank Ntilikina over a guy like Malik Monk in the 2017 NBA Draft. Both players are no Donovan Mitchell, but one could argue that Monk is a better player than Ntilikina right now, and could be doing even better with an expanded role in New York.

Many, including myself, thought that Monk was destined to put on a New York Knicks draft during that 2017 NBA Draft. Even Monk said that he was surprised when the Knicks passed on him in 2017.

Both players haven’t exactly lived up to expectations in their careers thus far, but with the Knicks not playing Ntilikina very much when he’s healthy, I can’t help but believe that the team has been disappointed in his development early into his career.

Ntilikina is averaging 5.9 points and 2.8 assists while shooting 29 percent from three-point range this season, while Monk is averaging 10.0 points in just 18.3 minutes while shooting 34 percent from deep. Ntilikina did not play against the Hornets on Monday due to a groin injury.

As long as Monk continues to improve on the defensive end, which I believe he has in year two, then he’s got a bright career ahead of him. I’m not even worried about the inconsistencies in his offensive game, simply because the guy is a walking bucket. Experience and repetition will help in that area.

Ntilikina is sort of the opposite of Monk, being a very good defensive player but a liability on the offensive end of the court. He has a chance to become a very good two-way player in this league, but I’ve never seen stardom in his future like I do in Monk’s.

Next. Hornets interested in Garrett Temple, JaMychal Green. dark

Regardless, the Charlotte Hornets have a fine young player in Malik Monk, and so do the New York Knicks in Frank Ntilikina. You can’t go back and do it over again, but I do think that the Hornets have to be satisfied with Monk’s progress as a second year professional.