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Malik Monk is coming into his own; hits game-winner vs. Kings

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The former Wildcats shooting guard is finally starting to find his footing with the Hornets.

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Utah Jazz Russell Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

The Charlotte Hornets drafted Malik Monk with the 11th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. In Monk’s draft, many of the top picks from Josh Jackson to Markelle Fultz were busts for where they were drafted.

The former Kentucky Wildcats star was looking to be that way after his first few seasons in the league, but he’s starting to come alive and has shown his potential in recent weeks.

Monk has scored 20-plus points in five of his last six games. That includes 21 points on 8/17 shooting and the game-winning and-1 in Sunday’s win over the Sacramento Kings.

It wasn’t just that Monk is starting to heat up from the field, but he’s doing it extremely efficiently.

Prior to this season, Monk had failed hit over 35% of his triples in a single season, and he’s at over 47 percent from downtown through his first 19 games. Over this last five-game stretch, Monk has hit 20 triples, shooting 47.6 percent from deep.

Brooklyn’s Joe Harris is the only player in the NBA to shoot over five attempts per game and hit a higher percentage than Monk.

Monk’s settling into his role, and part of his success may have to do with the added talent in Charlotte. LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier are both the dominating guards for the Hornets, and they've drawn most of the defensive attention.

Monk wasn’t the most-talked-about player from Kentucky as both De’Aaron Fox and Bam Adebayo left Lexington that year. Drafted between the two, Monk hasn’t seen even a fraction of the success.

Until now.

Averaging a career-high 21.8 minutes per game, Monk’s nearing 13 points per game. He’s at career-high levels across the board in terms of efficiency, and it’s been impressive to say the least.

With the Hornets looking to vie for a playoff spot, Monk will be a crucial part of their success and a major reason why they could claim a postseason opportunity for the first time since 2016.