Charlotte Hornets: Is Malik Monk our Lou Williams?

Malik Monk, Charlotte Hornets (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Malik Monk, Charlotte Hornets (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

After a few tough seasons for 2017 lottery pick, Malik Monk seems to be finally finding himself as a player and it’s heartwarming for Charlotte Hornets fans. 

I’ve been writing about Charlotte Hornets’ former lottery pick Malik Monk a lot recently, and so have a lot of people. In the past, articles about Malik Monk were slightly optimistic at best, but more often they were pessimistic, and deservingly so.

Malik was buried on the bench after struggling in his first couple of games in his rookie season by the head coach at the time, Steve Clifford. Season two for him was a new coach who had spoken about how important Malik would be to the success of the team; optimism was as high as it had ever been and fans were ecstatic. Malik continued to struggle that season and fan support waivered a good bit, again, probably rightfully so based on what he produced.

Now we are in his third season and second straight game scoring 25 points. Malik has found a rhythm and looks the most comfortable as I have ever seen him.

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He is the 6th man in this rotation and he has completely changed his playstyle. Instead of playing the traditional shooting guard role he has embraced his combo guard side and it has allowed him to be the incredible playmaker that he is.

He also attacks the rim now and shows his uber athleticism to put on highlight-reel dunks and finishes. This has also lead to great efficiency as well; something that he really struggled with and loomed over Malik during his first two years as a pro.

And while Malik still struggles to shoot the ball efficiently, he has been much better as of late.

I can not express how happy it makes me seeing Monk play as well as he has.

A little bit of fan outrage came the other night against Minnesota when Terry Rozier was out for the game and head coach James Borrego elected to start undrafted rookie and g-league regular Caleb Martin over Malik Monk.

And while I was also on board with the idea of sliding Malik into the starting shooting guard role next to Devonte’ Graham, I also see what James Borrego was thinking. If you look at the Los Angelos Clippers’ guard Lou Williams you can see the recipe Borrego may have been cooking with.

Lou seldom starts. He is the lethal weapon that comes off the Clippers’ bench and wrecks havoc on second units. Lou Williams, just looking at his talent in a vacuum, absolutely deserves to start, and is drastically better than who he “backs up”.

Lou embraces the role and prefers to come off the bench, it has become his identity. Lou plays in crunch time and by the fourth quarter, no one cares if he started or not because he is undoubtedly in the closing unit.

Monk has stated before that he looks up to Lou Williams as a role model to model his game after. This makes a lot of sense considering his role with the Hornets right now. This is not to say that Malik doesn’t want to start or be a starter but it suggests that he is content with his role and looks to thrive in his current situation. He is doing just that as of late.

Malik could potentially become our own version of Lou Williams: a lethal weapon he comes off the bench and lights it up as one of the better players on the team and closes games as the best lineup when its crunch time.

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Seeing Malik so comfortable as the sixth man now makes me hesitant to want to change his role anytime soon. Especially considering that the two guards starting over him now are Devonte’ and Terry, so there really isn’t room now for him to be “promoted” to a starter, but even if a spot becomes vacant, I would be cautious not to ask him to adjust yet again after such great success as of recent weeks.