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It’s a New Year and the Lakers are looking to change the tide towards winning more basketball games. 

The Lakers haven’t been living up to their high expectations so far this season as they are only 6th in the highly competitive Western Conference

If there’s one thing to be optimistic about is that there is still lots more basketball to play in the season, and the Lakers have been starting to hit their stride lately achieving their first four game winning streak of the season after the win against the Atlanta Hawks

One reason why they have been playing better as of late is that they’re starting to get their guys back healthy after a tough stretch of missing players due to injuries and health & safety protocols. Another big reason why they’re been winning? Malik Monk.

The 5th year guard out of Kentucky has been lights out ever since he came back from health & safety protocol. In his last 7 games he has been averaging 21.9 points on 56% FG shooting and 48% from three. In that stretch he is only behind Lebron in scoring for the Lakers. 

Monk has proved he was a steal signing in the offseason and he has proved he deserves to stay in the starting lineup. Here are some reasons why he should stay in the starting five. 

Shooting & Scoring Ability

Malik Monk is a bucket. He has shown that he can score the basketball. He can knock down the shot from the outside, but he can also drive and finish at the rim. He just came off a season-high 29 points against the Hawks and it looks like he’s really starting to hit his stride. This scoring prowess is exactly what the Lakers need especially with Anthony Davis still out with injury. Look for the Lakers to rely on him to provide a solid scoring punch each game.

Complimenting the Stars

Over the past couple weeks, Malik has been knocking down the outside shot consistently and this compliments the two stars of the Lakers and makes them deadly on the court. LeBron James and Russell Westbrook are two of the greatest passers this league has ever seen, and they love to pass the ball to open teammates who can score and knock down open outside shots. That’s what Malik Monk’s role has been. 

Defensive Versatility

On offense Malik has been ballin’ out, then on the other side of the floor he has been holding his own as well. With his skill set, he is able to guard multiple positions from the one up to the three and this defensive versatility is always useful especially when they are switching on screens. Being able to gets stops on the defensive end will always prove crucial in any basketball game.

Malik Monk has been a real bright spot recently and he has definitely shown Laker Nation that he deserves that starting spot. Moving forward even when Anthony Davis comes back and the Lakers are fully healthy, Malik Monk should still start to compliment the Big 3 of LeBron, Westbrook, and Davis.

Featured Image: Andrew Bernstein & Adam Pantozzi/nba.com

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