Opinion: Should Malik Monk Start at Shooting Guard for Los Angeles Lakers After a Impressive Outing vs Nets

Published 10/04/2021, 6:30 AM EDT


The preseason for the 2021-22 NBA season has kicked off in an exciting fashion as the Nets defeated the Lakers in their own backyard. Both teams are the favorites to win the championship this season. While the preseason games are too early to judge anything, but Malik Monk has got us thinking with a brilliant debut against the Nets.

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The Nets won 123-97 against the Lakers with a brilliant overall performance. The latter was underwhelming, but Monk stood out among the veterans despite starting from the bench. Malik, who turned 23 earlier this year, recorded 15 points on 6-12 shooting from the field and 3-6 from beyond the arc.

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Malik was outstanding going forward; however, his defensive capabilities still need to improve. Regardless, he has made his case that he is ready for the shooting guard starting spot. Frank Vogel will now have a tough time in picking his starting lineup with so many players vying for the five spots.

Malik Monk gives Frank Vogel something to think about Los Angeles Lakers SG position

The Lakers lineup boasted of Anthony Davis, Kent Bazemore, DeAndre Jordan, Talen Horton-Tucker, and Kendrick Nunn. Kendrick Nunn started as the shooting guard against the Nets and posted 9-7-1 in 24 mins.

However, when Malik Monk was substituted in, he outscored Nunn and posted 15-2-1 in 21 mins. Everyone talked about the Lakers’ aging roster and how they could struggle during a long season. In a sweet bit of irony, their youngsters impressed the most in the first preseason game.

Malik, who spent his last four seasons with Charlotte Hornets, joined the Lakers during the summer. He took an enormous risk in joining a ‘super team’. Malik wasn’t a regular starter in Charlotte and started just one game in four seasons, but he joined the Lakers despite having so much competition.

However, it appears that Malik has taken an early lead in the race for the starting spot for shooting guard. The 23-year-old scored a team-high 15 points, which included 10 points in the 2nd quarter itself.

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Anthony Davis lavishes praise on Malik Monk

But Malik’s performance made a big statement and left everyone impressed. Anthony Davis praised the young guard after his performance against the Nets.

May 25, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis slam dunks the ball against the Phoenix Suns during the first half in game two of the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

“We’re still surprised we got him, to be honest,” Anthony Davis said.

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“He’s such a hell of a player. You saw what he did out there the minute that he played. He can score the ball at all three levels, play hard and make the right reads. He’s going to be fun to have this year.”

However, Malik wasn’t the only youngster that impressed. Combined with Kendrick Nunn, he posted 24 of the 30 point Lakers scored in the 2nd quarter.

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The preseason’s results are not a concern, as the focus is on the process. But it can give an idea about who will start alongside Russell Westbrook, LeBron James and Anthony Davis in the coming season.

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Can Malik Monk continue with his performance and break into the starting spot for the first time? Let us know in the comments below.

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Abhishek Singh

204 articles

Abhishek is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports with over two years of journalistic experience with Chase Your Sport and Dribl. A Football Management graduate, he has previously interned in the Indian Super League, I-League and the AFC Champions League. In addition to being a Michael Jordan fan, Abhishek is an ardent Steph Curry and Warriors guy, and believes they have a few more championships in store before the former retires.

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