Dwight Howard, Malik Monk In Coronavirus Protocols

Lakers role players Dwight Howard and Malik Monk have joined starting wing Talen Horton-Tucker in the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols, per Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register (via Twitter). Goon adds that none of the triumvirate will be available to play with Los Angeles tomorrow against the Mavericks.

Monk flew with the club to Dallas before recording his positive result, but Howard remained in Los Angeles, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN (Twitter link). McMenamin adds that L.A. is currently determining a plan to fly Monk back home safely. The fact that Monk traveled with his teammates in close proximity on a private plane makes this situation certainly worth monitoring.

Howard and Horton-Tucker started in the Lakers’ most recent game, a 106-94 victory over the visiting Magic. Monk has proven to be a helpful offensive contributor off the bench during his first season with the franchise. Should Lakers All-Star big man Anthony Davis miss tomorrow’s game, the Lakers will be at a significant frontcourt disadvantage against the Mavericks. Davis remains day-to-day with a sore left knee that has sidelined him for the team’s last two contests.

The 23-year-old Monk, signed to a veteran’s minimum contract this summer, is averaging 9.7 PPG on .447/.361/.800 shooting splits, along with 2.8 RPG and 2.2 APG across 28 games with the 15-13 Lakers. The 36-year-old Howard, in his third stint with the team, is averaging a more modest 5.0 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 0.8 SPG and 0.7 BPG, while shooting .625/.750/.609. Howard’s anomalous three-point shooting conversion rate is the result of an extremely low volume of output, just 0.3 a night.

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