Charlotte Hornets: The defensive dynamism of Malik Monk

Charlotte Hornets Malik Monk. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Malik Monk. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /
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Charlotte Hornets
Charlotte Hornets Malik Monk. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

The man the Charlotte Hornets drafted out of Kentucky was not expected to be a good defender in this league; however, Malik Monk’s discipline has paid off, as the guard has taken significant steps on defense in his third season.

Up until Malik Monk’s third season, one of his significant weaknesses was a supposed lack of attention to detail on the defensive end. At the end of his sophomore season, one season review article by Rod Boone emphasized the necessity for Malik Monk to improve his defense; otherwise, his long-term prospects as a contributor for the Charlotte Hornets would be limited.

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Malik’s measurables don’t look like those of a guard imbued with great defensive potential. He stands at 6’2” and his wingspan of 6’7”, whilst solid for a guard, is rudimentary amongst NBA players.

Furthermore, to date, he has been used as more of a shooting guard on defense, which exasperates any physical limitations of Malik.

And from a cursory glance, Malik’s defense doesn’t seem super improved. The Hornets had an average points differential of -6.7. On an individual scale, Malik shows off an array of meek defensive impact metrics; -1.80 DRPM, -0.81 DPIPM, -1.3 DBPM, -2.9 Defensive RAPTOR. These are improved from his first two seasons, but still fairly underwhelming for any NBA player touted as a good defender.

However, the current selection of impact metrics isn’t sound enough to craft an accurate portrayal of a player’s contribution. Malik isn’t perfect on defense, but for a third-year guard who was drafted for offense, the plays he’s putting together on defense unveil a player with the unforeseen potential to make All-Defense teams down the road.