Jeremy Lin has been a solid contributor in Charlotte, which has risen to 12-8 and beaten tough teams like Chicago. Lin has done what’s been asked of him (assists, rebounds, low turnovers), and his playing time has been building. The emergence of Jeremy Lamb and Nicolas Batum as big time talents, while delighting Hornets fans, has also meant that a Jeremy Lin/Kemba Walker backcourt that plays fast and small, attacks and gets up a lot of shots like Golden State’s Curry/Thompson tandem hasn’t materialized — to the dismay of Lin fans who think he’s starter, or even All-Star material.
Another part of the Hornets’s success equation is that Charlotte center Al Jefferson has rightly demanded attention inside. That means with the ball being kicked out and around — instead of dribble-penetration from the wings — Lin’s catch-and-shoot game has to be working, and his shooting has been off. But Jefferson is out with an injury and that opens the floor for more small ball, where Lin excels. The Hornets beat Chicago without Jefferson and in the next game, Lin shot 50 percent in another win against the Pistons. Jefferson is likely to miss two weeks in total — it’s a period Lin needs to take advantage of if he wants his minutes to continue to grow.