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BBNBA: Malik Monk’s Suspension and the Miami Heat Struggles

(NBAE | Getty Images)

(NBAE | Getty Images)

Good afternoon, folks. Malik Monk got himself into some trouble on Wednesday. Let’s talk NBA.

RECAP

Malik Monk suspended indefinitely

As quickly as he was rising, it all came crashing down in the blink of an eye.

It was announced on Wednesday afternoon that Charlotte Hornets guard Malik Monk would be suspended indefinitely without pay for violating the NBA’s Anti-Drug Program.

The timing couldn’t be worse for Monk, who was in the midst of his best stretch of NBA basketball, finally taking a leap in production that was desperately needed from the Hornets organization. Monk had been shooting the lights out in the 13 games leading up to his suspension. I recently wrote about his improved play, too. The former Wildcat was averaging 17.0 points on shooting splits of 45.7/35.0/85.1 in that 13-game span and even found his way into the starting lineup for the first time in his career during his last game before being disciplined (although that start was strictly due to Hornets head coach James Borrego giving starting guard Devonte’ Graham some much-needed rest and a game off).

In Monk’s first game due to suspension, the Hornets still managed to beat the New York Knicks, 107-10, behind 12 points, five rebounds, and three assists from P.J. WashingtonJulius Randle registered 18 points and nine rebounds for the Knicks while Kevin Knox added four points, two rebounds, and two assists in 23 minutes.

But what makes Monk’s situation so open-ended is the fact that we don’t have a solidified return date and neither the league or Hornets franchise have said exactly what the violation was for. John Collins (ATL) and Deandre Ayton (PHX) were both suspended for exactly 25 games each earlier this season for violating the PED rules set in place by the NBA. An indefinite suspension for Monk would imply that he wasn’t using similar performance enhancers. Without speculating too much, the NBA doesn’t just suspend players for smoking weed on the first failed test, or even the third or fourth. To think as much would be rather naive, in my opinion. That being said, we don’t truly know what Monk is being suspended for, but the way it was worded in the article by ESPN might imply that Monk can return to the court once he meets a set of standards set in place by the organization (whatever that might be).

“Monk’s suspension will begin with tngiht’s game between the Hornets and the New York Knicks, and will continue until he is determined to be in full compliance with the program.” a statement released by the NBA wrote.

“Determined to be in full compliance” is what attracts my attention. This suspension could range from any time next week to possibly even the end of the season and into the offseason (maybe even next year, depending on how severe this situation might actually be). The NBA has straight-up dismissed players before such as OJ Mayo and Tyreke Evans for abusing drugs in the past. We can only hope that Monk learns from this mistake and fixes whatever is ailing him.

If Monk sits out the final 25 games of the season, he’ll miss out on close to $1 million in salary. Monk is also eligible for a rookie extension at the end of this season. Just bad timing on all fronts.

Miami Heat struggling

The Miami Heat are in a rut.

After falling to the KAT-less Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday, 129-126, the Heat have now dropped two games in a row and are losers of seven out of their last nine outings. They even had Jimmy Butler back against Minny after he missed the previous two games, but Miami still couldn’t get the job done.

Bam Adebayo led the BBNBA in scoring with 22 points to go along with 10 rebounds, seven assists, and two blocks. He shot 6-13 from the floor while playing through a sprained ankle. Tyler Herro sat out his ninth consecutive game with an ankle injury.

Miami led by 12 points with just under four minutes left in the game before the Wolves rattled off a 20-5 run that gave them a late lead. D’Angelo Russell sealed the win for Minny by blocking Butler’s shot right before the buzzer that would have tied the game. The Heat are seemingly accustomed to blowing late leads as of right now. They held a 22-point lead over the Cleveland Cavaliers a few days ago before losing in overtime and also dropped a game to the Atlanta Hawks two games before that. Minnesota, Cleveland, and Atlanta are three of the five worst teams in the NBA.

The loss marked just the fourth time this season that Miami has lost at home (now 23-4).

Karl-Anthony Towns is still on the sidelines for Minnesota as he recovers from a wrist injury.

Other notes

  • Devin Booker had an off shooting night in Los Angeles, as his Phoenix Suns fell to the Clippers, 102-92. Book shot just 5-19 from the floor and an even worse 1-8 mark from beyond the arc. However, he did record 10 assists, marking his second straight double-double and eighth of the season.
  • Willie Cauley-Stein is still away from the Dallas Mavericks for personal reasons and it was announced he won’t be back with the team until next week.

Check out the full stat sheet below.

STATISTICS

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Bam Adebayo (MIA)126-129 L vs. MIN226-13 (0-1)107024+433
Julius Randle (NYK)101-107 L @ CHA187-14 (1-1)93021-1525
Devin Booker (PHX)92-102 L vs. LAC145-19 (1-8)010004+239
P.J. Washington Jr. (CHA)107-101 W vs. NYK125-14 (2-7)53202+1236
Enes Kanter (BOS)114-103 W @ UTA84-4 (0-0)70121+520
Trey Lyles (SAS)103-109 L vs. DAL62-6 (1-2)91002-324
Kevin Knox (NYK)101-107 L @ CHA42-5 (0-2)22001-1023
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (DAL)109-103 W @ SAS00-1 (0-1)51100-1011
Keldon Johnson (SAS)103-109 L vs. DALDNP-CD----------------
Patrick Patterson (LAC)102-92 W @ PHXDNP-CD----------------
Jarred Vanderbilt (MIN)129-126 W @ MIADNP-CD----------------
Malik Monk (CHA)107-101 W vs. NYKDNP-Suspended----------------
Willie Cauley-Stein (DAL)109-103 W @ SASDNP-Personal----------------
Tyler Herro (MIA)126-129 L vs. MINDNP-Ankle----------------
Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)129-126 W @ MIADNP-Wrist----------------
Skal Labissiere (ATL)120-130 L vs. ORLDNP-Knee----------------
John Wall (WAS)110-106 W @ BKNDNP-Foot----------------

TONIGHT IN THE NBA

7:00: Knicks (Knox, Randle) @ 76ers

8:00 (TNT): Trail Blazers (Gabriel) @ Pacers

8:00: Kings (Fox) @ Thunder (Diallo, Gilgeous-Alexander, Noel)

10:30 (TNT): Lakers (Davis, Rondo) @ Warriors

Article written by Zack Geoghegan

Covering all things NBA and UK Hoops. Follow me on Twitter: @ZGeogheganKSR

2 Comments for BBNBA: Malik Monk’s Suspension and the Miami Heat Struggles



  1. Bobbum Man
    1:56 pm February 27, 2020 Permalink

    I knew the Knicks were bad and all but 117-10… ouch



  2. BIGblueFootBallGuy
    4:52 pm February 27, 2020 Permalink

    Malik “cocaine” Monk