Lin Was Underutilized, Hornets Lost by 33 Points in Game 7
- Why did the Hornets not put up a more competitive fight in a Do-Or-Die game?
- Why did Coach Clifford go away from the Kemba/Lin penetration that has worked so well throughout the series and was the sole reason for the 3-game wins in Game 3-5? Why did Lin only play 19 minutes in the biggest game of the series although he shot well at 50% FGM (4-8) and proved to be a threat with an And-1 play in the 1st quarter? Besides Lin, only Lee played well by shooting 63% FGM(5-8). Kemba chose the worst game to shoot 19% (3-18) after his spectacular 37 pts performance in Game 6.
- Why did Clifford choose to go with Batum as playmaker who aggravated his high-ankle injury in Game 6? Even when Batum was healthy in Game 1-2, it resulted in a combined 42pts blowout! Kemba/Batum playmaking in Game 1-2 was not a good matchup vs the Heat but why did Clifford stubbornly go back to them? Was someone in the Front Office afraid Batum will leave in the Free Agency so Cliff was ordered to play him despite his injured ankle?
- Did Coach Spoelstra from the Heat succeed in discouraging Clifford to attack with their best weapon in Kemba/Lin dribble-drive?
So many questions to be answered but Game 7 blowout was certainly not the way Hornets fans and players want to go out with a whimper.
Lack of Coach’s Faith and Role Diminish Jeremy Lin’s Chance to Resign with the Hornets
Put yourself in Jeremy Lin’s shoes before Game 7 and you know you’re the difference maker in the series because you rank 2nd in the Net Points with +14, meaning that you outscored the Heat by +14 in all 6 games. Batum and Kemba were in the bottom two with -60 and -45. Ouch!
You feel good that you will be needed in Game 7 because you proved you helped the Hornets get 3 wins with a combined +40
But then Coach only played you 19 min even when you shot very well with 50% FG (4-8).
You’re dazed, confused and feel disoriented because it’s unfathomable. You want to help your teammates win so much.
But at the end of the day, you probably tell yourself that NBA is a cruel business after all. It does not matter if you are a difference maker and can help the Hornets celebrate advancing to the semifinal of the Eastern Conference against the Raptors. You are not the primary playmaker in this team. Kemba and Batum have been designated as the main playmakers by the organization so they need to be the playmakers. And you can’t help them even if they have off-games. Winning is not the most important thing even if the fans want it to be. Winning with the right personnel will make the right people look good in the Front Office.
You need to move on. You can stay next season as a backup PG/SG since you love your teammates but you may only play 24 min/game with 10.6pts/2.6asts as a reserve with 30% 3FG. Maybe even fewer minutes after MKG is back.
But other teams might appreciate your 35 min/game starter performance with 17.5pts/4.8asts with 46% 3FG and offer you a starting Point Guard position.
Which one will you choose? It’s really a no-brainer. It would be …
Game 7 Jeremy Lin Highlights