The Charlotte Hornets surprised the NBA community when they bagged their first playoffs win in Game 3 against the Miami Heat. Despite the absence of Nicolas Batum in their roster, the Kemba Walker squad managed to beat Dwyane Wade, Hassan Whiteside, Goran Dragic and Luol Deng. With one of the main men down, the Charlotte Hornets had to rely heavily on Jeremy Lin to help carry the team. Given the 80-96 win they snagged vs the Miami Heat, it can be safely assumed that Linsanity has returned.
Sources disclosed that Batum might miss the rest of the NBA playoffs 2016 series against the Chris Bosh team. This means that the Charlotte Hornets will need to adjust their strategies to match the other teams in the playoffs. Will this spell the end for Batum? Will Jeremy Lin be the permanent starter?
"There's certain things you're going to live with," said Steve Clifford, referring to the absence of Batum in the hardwood court. The Charlotte Hornets head coach added, "[Batum] does a lot of things for us. NBA players are used to it because you have to play so many games with a guy out. You play to the strengths of the guys that you have."
While the loss of Batum is putting the coaching staff on high alert due to the late changes they have to implement, the other players in the roster are also sympathetic of the situation. However, the good chemistry of Walker and Lin in the hardwood court makes their predicament easier to deal with.
"You know what Nic has meant to us all year long, on both ends of the floor," said Marvin Williams. The Charlotte Hornets star added, "So it will be a little difficult obviously without him. But when he's gone down, guys have stepped in. Jeremy Lin has played great, Jeremy Lamb has played great. Whoever's number is called will be ready. It's going to take a collective effort."
Meanwhile, Linsanity has been gradually gaining traction off the court as well. In social media, Lin has been garnering a steadily increasing number of followers. In fact, stadiums are slowly seeing outspoken Linsanity supporters who even sport his quirky hairstyle and fashion sense. Does this make Lin one of the most popular NBA stars in the league today?
"You're removing some of the barriers behind your public life and your private life. As I was becoming a little more known among the public, it scared me that I might lose my privacy," shared Lin of his move to engage his fans via social media. He further explained, "I also don't think I was comfortable in front of cameras for a very long time. The one thing I loved about social media is you control the product and what comes out. I am not saying anything through a reporter, and then he or she writes what they want to write. With social media, I can write what I want when I want to write it."