It has been a rough start to the season for the Los Angeles Lakers. Actually, before the season even started the Lakers were hit with a multitude of injuries. With a hobbled roster, the Lakers have struggled early on and it has been ugly. Luckily, that changed on Wednesday night due to Malik Monk. The fifth year guard led the Lakers with 27 points in their 120-117 victory over the Miami Heat.
This was a huge win for the purple and gold. With seemingly half of the roster in street clothes, the Lakers faced one of the best teams in the East. While the Heat did lose Jimmy Butler to an ankle injury, the Lakers were down to a nine man rotation so we can’t even call it even. And while we can always count on the likes of Anthony Davis, it was Monk who was the difference maker.
The Kentucky guard not only hit his patented three ball, but also went to the paint and shot 10 for 13 overall. One shot in particular was a spectacular display of touch with the ball. Don’t believe me? Take a look for yourself.
Thank god for Malik Monk pic.twitter.com/hPGdpcjKgy
— ْ (@clappedsashi) November 11, 2021
Monk’s ability to get to the rack was crucial, especially in the video above. The Lakers were clinging to a one point lead in overtime when Monk hit the floater over Herro. The combination of its degree of difficulty and the clutch factor was incredible. You can watch that clip over and over again and not get tired of it.
The Lakers have one of the most passionate fan bases in all of sports and they are starting to appreciate Monk. However, his teammates are already singing his praises.
AD, adding to this, postgame:
"Bron said it before, I've said it… We call him Microwave. Instant scorer. We still don't know how we got him for what we got him for. He can play."
— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) November 11, 2021
Russell Westbrook on Malik Monk's big night: "Just being Malik. He Microwave."
— Ryan Ward (@RyanWardLA) November 11, 2021
Both Russell Westbrook and Davis referred to Monk as “Microwave” referencing his instant offense for the Lakers. They need it too; with such a limited roster, Frank Vogel welcomes any offense outside of his big three. Carmelo Anthony has also been so crucial offensively, but Monk is reviving his career here in Los Angeles. Simply put, the Lakers don’t beat the Heat without Monk. That’s not a sentence I thought I would write this season.
Monk was an affordable acquisition for the Lakers and is one of the few with fresh young legs at only 23 years old. As the 11th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, he had lofty expectations in Charlotte. Unfortunately, he didn’t find much success, so he comes to the Lakers looking for redemption. Laker Nation has begun to notice him, but his teammates believe in him, which is even more important.