Jeremy Lin forced to step up vs. Heat as Nicolas Batum’s out the entire series

Jeremy Lin forced to step up vs. Heat as Nicolas Batum’s out the entire series

Jeremy Lin and the Charlotte Hornets were completely lost in their first two games of the Eastern Conference first round series versus the Miami Heat.

The Hornets lost the first two games on the road via blowouts of 123-91 in Game 1 and 115-103 in Game 2 but more importantly they also lost Nicolas Batum to an injury and could miss the French forward for the rest of this best-of-seven series.

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Without Batum, the Hornets now look for other scorers to step up, including Lin, who was one of Charlotte’s more consistent contributors off the bench during the regular season. Batum hurt his left ankle in the fourth quarter of Game 2 and he will be an unrestricted free agent after the season.

Batum has started both games in this series and it remains to be seen how Hornets coach Steve Clifford will change the starting line-up. They could start Jeremy Lin at the 2-spot and move Courtney Lee to the forward spot but that could be troublesome for the Hornets against a Heat squad known for their athleticism and length.

In Game 1, Heat forward Luol Deng exploded for a game-high 31 points. In Game 2, it was Dwyane Wade’s turn to explode, with 28 points.

Lin’s performance in his first playoff experience with the Hornets has been average but nothing spectacular. Lin has averages of 10.0 points on 36.4 percent shooting and 85.7 percent three point shooting with 2.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists.

In short, Jeremy Lin must do more if he’s the one to help the Hornets and replace Batum’s numbers of 16.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 blocked shots. However, it’s not all Jeremy Lin if the Hornets want to get back in this series as other players like Al Jefferson, Courtney Lee and others must step up their scoring.

Jeremy Lin and the Hornets will face Wade, Deng and the rest of the Heat in Game 3 set on Saturday.