First off, lets remind everyone especially Coach Cliff how the Hornets got to a game 6 and 7. They were absolutely crushed in first 2 games with Kemba and Batum as his guys.
Game #1 plus/minus
JLin actually played decently in the first two games. Batum was awful while Kemba put up some meaningless numbers.
With the injury to Nicolas Batum in game 2, I knew they had a chance because JLin would have a bigger role. That's exactly what happened as Jeremy Lin was the Hornets best player over their 3 wins:
Lin 18 pts 4 asts +17
Kemba 17 pts 7 asts +13
Lin 21 pts 3 asts +17
Kemba 34 pts 1 ast -7
Lin 11 pts 7 asts 6 rebs +6
Kemba 14 pts 5 asts 5 rebs -7
Batum 8 pts 3 asts 3 rebs +2
Over 7 game series:
Off Rating, Def Rating, Net Rating
Batum (5 games) 91.1, 121.6, -31.6
Kemba 98.3, 110.7, -12.4
JLin 98.6, 97.5, +1.1
Plus Minus in Series:
Batum -85 (5 games)
Plus Minus in 3 wins:
Batum +2 (1 game)
JLin + 40
However, Lin struggled in Game 6 and ended up only playing 24 minutes. This is where Cliff gave up on the one who basically led the Hornets to their 3 wins. He turned his back on JLin in game 7 and rode "his guys" sticking with a tired and ineffective Kemba an injured and ineffective Batum, who'd been awful the whole series when healthy or injured and to Frank the Tank who had a good game and a half in the whole series. No surprise here, but the only chance they had was having JLin lead and be a playmaker like he was in the 3 wins.
Now, what's next for JLin? So much is out of Jeremy's control. He has to wait till this summer and see if he actually gets a starting point guard offer. Everything seems to point to the Brooklyn Nets making him an offer and it's definitely my first choice. Coach Kenny Atkinson really knows what he'd have in JLin and with tons of cap space, they could easily be a playoff contender next season.
Could he end up back with the Hornets? Definitely not what I'd like but still possible but only if Batum doesn't resign which could happen as he'll be getting many other offers at around 20 million.
There are a bunch of other possibilities out there with the Sixers, Pelicans, Spurs, Bulls to name a few. We'll just have to wait and see but I'm very confident that JLin will make a great decision when all offers are on the table like he did this season taking the Hornets low offer but getting that all important player option in the 2nd year. That brilliant move will make him millions as he's bound to get a starting salary in the 10-15 million dollar range with only Mike Conley and Rajon Rondo ahead of him in free agent point guard hierarchy and the huge increase in the salary cap.
And finally, let us not forget that Jeremy Lin knows that given the opportunity, he can and will be great!