Jeremy Lin and Kemba Walker have shared the floor for 298 minutes this season. During this period, the Charlotte Hornets are outscoring opponents by almost 7 points per 100 possessions.
Lin is still playing back-up to Walker but Hornets coach Steve Clifford has kept both guards on the floor during crunch time. Against the Raptors last week, Hornets were +12 in the 39 minutes when Lin and Walker were on the court. Have the Hornets found their version of the Splash Brothers?
When Lin is on the floor, good things tend to happen for the 15-11 Hornets. Charlotte have outscored opponents by over 9 points per 100 possessions. In fact, the most productive four lineups for the Hornets this season, in terms of net rating (minimum 30 minutes), all feature Lin.
Jeremy Lin On Fire Recently
Jeremy Lin, seeing a steady rise in playing time, is averaging 17.6 points over the last five games. While Walker is admittedly still adjusting to playing more with Lin, Hornets coach Steve Clifford is exploring the possibility of playing both guards alongside Nicolas Batum. “What it does is it gives you three pick-and-roll players, so I think you saw last night we had really good stretched of offense with those guys. They can spread the defense out, which creates space for each other,” Clifford said ahead of Hornets’ game against the Houston Rockets on Monday night.
Recently, Clifford praised Lin’s explosiveness. “If you watch him (Lin) closely, he is so quick and strong. He doesn’t need much of a gap to get to the paint. He’s clever and can attack anytime. The other thing to appreciate about Lin is – he gets better every year. When he first entered the league, when he got going with the Knicks, people thought he wasn’t good going to his left. Now, he’s equally good.”
The Hornets are on pace to have their best season since 1996-97. A lot of the credit goes to the combination of Jeremy Lin and Kemba Walker, who have surprisingly gelled as a potent backcourt.