The Charlotte Hornets are climbing the Eastern Conference with an alarming surge in their recent performances in the hardwood court. At this point, the Nicolas Batum squad is tied with the Miami Heat in fourth place under the division that has LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers at the lead role. The Charlotte Hornetts are a game away from joining the Boston Celtics and the Atlanta Hawks in third place - with only a handful of wins from the surprisingly aggressive Toronto Raptors. So, what brought on the sudden emergence of the Charlotte Hornets as NBA playoff frontrunners this season?
The answer is surprising yet not completely unexpected. The reason behind the surging Charlotte Hornets this NBA season is none other than Jeremy Lin. Months following his entry into the Michael Jordan team, the Christian star has been shoved to the background - a role that quickly changed when he showed his true potential. As if it was not enough that he stunned the crowd with his skills, the Linsanity chose to make a comeback in a game against one of the most formidable teams in the NBA today: the San Antonio Spurs.
The Charlotte Hornets stunned the Tim Duncan squad with a 91-88 win. In the game, Lin managed to pitch in 29 points - 15 points of which came from the fourth quarter. To make the Linsanity's return even more remarkable, his contributions came when the San Antonio Spurs were 23 points ahead of the Charlotte Hornets. Lin continued his scoring spree in the match against the Brooklyn Nets which had him record 21 points.
"It definitely felt like I was in the zone, and it was a ton of fun," shared Lin following their victory over the San Antonio Spurs. He added, "For me, I switched my shot up this summer, and this whole season [I've] been struggling with it and it's been an absolute - extremely frustrating at times. But tonight, it kind of broke open for me, man, and it's one of those games where I'm just thankful to God, because honestly, I never expected this to happen."
As someone who has been a backup for Walker and Courtney Lee throughout the NBA season, the emergence of Lin definitely brought forth the reason the New York Knicks, Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers wanted him. Linsanity is a secret weapon that can stun even the best NBA teams. That is, Lin can whip out his arsenal of skills to beat the likes of Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge.
"He's been phenomenal," Walker said of Lin. As for Batum, he credited Lin for their wins. He said, "He did it (Monday) night in the second quarter to give us life, and he did it again (Tuesday) night. I don't think we would have won that game if he didn't step up again for us."
Meanwhile, Lin remains hopeful that his latest display of skills will not be the last. The Charlotte Hornets star feels that the Linsanity era will soon reach greater heights.
He shared, "We learned a lot about ourselves, and we just want to keep seeing what we can do. That's what coach has always been telling us. We don't know what our ceiling is and we don't want to say what our ceiling is because we don't know. We're just going to keep fighting, keep playing and stick with the process."