Despite starting strong during the first round of the 2016 NBA playoffs, the Miami Heat has succumbed to the Charlotte Hornets, which has now taken the 3-2 lead in the series after Game 5. Although the lead was made possible through the entire team's effort, some of the Hornets' players clearly stood out during the series.
One of these is Kemba Walker, who was able to show just how valuable he is for the Hornets. During the first game of the first round, he scored 19 points. He was able to out-do himself in the next game by scoring 29 baskets.
As Game 3 rolled in, the Hornets was able to gain momentum by outscoring Heat by 16 points. In Game 4, Walker exploded and scored 34 points
Of course, Walker wasn't alone in pushing the team to win against Heat in three consecutive games. Assisting him was fellow guard Jeremy Lin, who has been praised for his ability to drive the ball to get inside the lane.
He may not be scoring as much as Walker, but Lin has always been very dependable especially when it comes to moving the ball and getting it close to the basket.
"The way they're playing, if you can't drive the ball, you're literally going to have to take contested shot after contested shot," Steve Clifford, the coach of the Hornets said according to the Charlotte Observer.
"They're going to take the 3 away," he added. "And [Lin's] great strength, or one of them, is his ability to drive the ball in the paint, which is critical, particularly in this series."
But aside from his driving abilities, Lin's other strength is taking outside shots. He showcased this during Game 4 in probably the most theatrical manner by imitating an iconic move of the legendary basketball player Michael Jordan.
During the fourth game of the series, Lin attempted a three-pointer over his Heat guard. The ball banked off the glass and went straight into the basket. Lin then responded to his impressive shot, by shrugging, just like what Jordan did when he made the same shot in 1992 during the NBA finals.
Although various media outlets are calling the move an homage to Jordan, who is also the current owner of the Hornets, Lin said he wasn't thinking about the shrug when he made it. Instead, he believes that divine intervention was at play when he made the shot.
"I didn't even think about that until after the game when they said that," he said according to CBS Sports. "Me and Kemba were talking about that - that was kind of 'Angles in the Outfield,' a blessing from God."
"That shot, when I let it go, I was like, 'Yo, there's no chance this goes in,'" he added. "And it went it. So thank God."