It’s been a rocky start to the season for the Los Angeles Lakers but their record is back to .500 with Tuesday’s overtime win over the San Antonio Spurs. LeBron James was out with an ankle injury so the team needed a player outside of Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook to step up. Luckily, the Lakers have Malik Monk.
He was the starting shooting guard for the game and played really well. Monk scored 17 points, including four made 3-pointers. His most impressive shot of the game came with less than a minute left when he buried a 3-pointer from 30-feet away. Though the Lakers still had to go to overtime, Monk’s shot certainly helped the team avoid a loss. After the game, he made a bold proclamation about his shooting ability.
“I’ve got unlimited range,” Monk said after the win, via Silver Screen & Roll.
Monk signed to the team this offseason and the fact that he made 40.1% of his threes last season was a big reason they brought him in. He hasn’t disappointed the Lakers yet and remains confident in his ability.
“I think every shot I shoot is going in, so super confident,” Monk said. “My teammates are confident in me, too, so that makes me even more confident. They just believe in me. We’ve got great players, man. Everybody stepped up tonight and I was just able to knock that one down.”
It’s been an up and down year for Los Angeles so far but Monk’s emergence could mean big things for the team.
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Anthony Davis Impressed by Monk
Obviously, losing LeBron for any amount of time would be a blow to every NBA team. The Lakers have two superstars that can carry most of the load while he’s out but need others to step up. Against the Spurs, Monk put up a plus/minus of +31. Davis was very impressed with how his young teammate played.
“I mean, s***, Malik at +31, ridiculous,” Davis said after the win. “He started and played well. Big time threes. Played great defensively.”
The Lakers are still figuring out their rotation and don’t have a set starter at shooting guard. A few more games like this and Monk could get the starting gig full-time.
Monk Talks Lakers Fans Showing up to San Antonio
One thing that was notable about the Lakers’ trip to San Antonio was how many of their fans showed up. It would be impossible to imagine Lakers fans taking over the AT&T Center during the Tim Duncan era but times have changed. Monk couldn’t believe how many Los Angeles fans showed up to the game.
“It was like a home game,” Monk said. “It was like a home game, man. Never seen nothing like it before besides when they were playing us when I was in Charlotte. It’s crazy. It’s a crazy feeling. It makes us feel more comfortable. It lets us relax like we’re at home. We definitely felt that.”
The Lakers are arguably the biggest brand in the NBA and have fans all over the country. This won’t be the last time that a road game feels like a home game for the purple and gold.