Charlotte Hornets: Malik Monk’s improved physique will go a long way

Charlotte Hornets Malik Monk (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Malik Monk (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Charlotte Hornets guard Malik Monk made getting stronger a priority over the summer, and his progress in that area will be beneficial during the 2019-20 season.

One of the biggest hurdles as a young player entering the NBA is overcoming the physicality of the game. After two seasons in the league, Malik Monk of the Charlotte Hornets can be a prime example of that.

Adapting to playing against grown men every day rather than college players is no joke, and Monk experienced that first hand. Going into a pivotal third season with the Hornets, Monk spent the majority of his off-season in the weight room getting stronger.

The results speak for themselves, as Head Coach James Borrego told reporters on Monday at his annual Luncheon that Monk has gained 20 pounds of muscle over the summer. At first glance, Monk looks visibly bigger and that added strength will be very important for him.

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Monk is quite possibly the best athlete on the team, so this added strength will help him be able to take hits when he is attacking the basket and hopefully earn him more trips to the free-throw line. Defensively, it will help him when he is fighting over screens.

Some players don’t need the extra muscle, but it’s going to do wonders for a guy like Monk, who is an undersized guard that needs to add other elements to his game. Hopefully he won’t be pushed around any longer and this will give him more confidence on the court.

When Monk first entered the NBA, he was just under 200 pounds and was rail thin. He showed a lot of commitment over the summer, and it will pay off for him during the season.

Notable players such as Giannis Antetokounmpo, Paul George and Gordon Hayward really took off once they added a solid frame. I’m not saying that Monk will follow in their footsteps and turn into an All-Star, but the strength factor is helpful and quite frankly an underrated factor in the game.

The Charlotte Hornets are counting on Monk to make a big leap during his third season in the NBA. There’s a chance he starts at shooting guard, and with the team losing the majority of their offense from last season in Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lamb, there’s also a chance that he shows out offensively.

You can check adding strength off the list for Monk. What’s up next for him is improving in two key areas during the season — efficiency and defense. If he does improve in those areas, it could prove to be a successful season incoming for Monk.

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I thought and still do think that Monk has what it takes to be a big-time scorer in the NBA. His first two seasons were disappointing and didn’t go to plan, but he appears to be laser focused on the upcoming season. Let’s hope that he can have that breakout season for the Charlotte Hornets in 2019-20.