The Charlotte Hornets are surprising additions to the NBA playoffs 2016 especially in light of the recent injury of Nicolas Batum. Despite the roster loss of the Michael Jordan team, the group still managed to hang tight to their spot, winning the last two games after losing the first three to Miami Heat. Following the injury of Batum, the Charlotte Hornets saw the emergence of Jeremy Lin as a leader. Eventually, the Linsanity has become a major force that helped Kemba Walker carry the team into the playoffs this NBA season.
Following the 0-2 losing streak, Lin sent out a prayer request, asking his followers to "lift our team up in prayer -- that I would play with a completely surrendered heart to God. The higher the stakes, the more I tend to try to hold on/stress/worry rather than trust God that no matter what happens He is in control and has a perfect plan."
Lin also asked for prayers for Batum to quickly recover and for his teammates to be able to play teamwork basketball at a level to win the series and move on to the next. "I don't doubt the power of God as He is capable of any type of miracle!!"
Since the prayer request was sent, the Hornets have turned the tide and won two back-to-back games against the Heat, and has now tied the Playoff series at 2-2.
Although this is an astounding achievement for the Charlotte Hornets, the team did not reach this stage without difficulties. Among the members of the basketball squad, however, Lin is identified to have suffered the most setbacks outside the usual sport-related injuries. Included in the issues plaguing the return of the Linsanity are the racial discriminations he experienced.
In addition to these is the purported bias of the NBA refs against the Asian man - a fact that was pointed by his fans as they noted how stars like Carmelo Anthony managed to get away with fouls against Lin. Despite their efforts, the fans still failed to get a favorable response to their concern. In fact, the NBA belied their claims and reiterated that the calls of the referees during the games were right based on data. Amid the uproar following these comments, Lin attempts to calm his followers and thanked them for their support.
"I'm just thankful the fans are trying to do something about it, and trying to push the league to at least review some of the stuff," said Lin following the release of the video showing the uncalled flagrant fouls that should have been issued in his favor. He added, "What happened on the film is exactly what happened [on the court]."
However, he shrugged off the response of the NBA and simply reminded his fans that not everyone will side with them. Lin also advised them of the nature of the sport. That is, professional basketball can become very competitive. Hence, physical aggression in the hardwood court might become the norm.
Lin said, "To me, not everybody drives the same way, not everybody goes to the basket the same way, not everybody takes contact the same way. I mean, it is what it is. They made their statement. All I know is, you've just got to watch the film."
Meanwhile, Lin earlier decided to focus on more important things in his life at the moment instead of dwelling on the past. In his recent journal entry, the Charlotte Hornets star opted to look at the bright side of things. In the said post, Lin shared some tidbits about his teammates and how much he values them all.
"Playoffs are right around the corner and a lot of people, including you guys, have noticed we have a really special team here," wrote Lin. He added, "Having had a wide range of experiences playing basketball my whole life, I've always believed that basketball is the most fun when everyone buys in and plays for each other. That's what has helped our team this season and it has also made playing on the court really enjoyable."
Meanwhile, fans are encouraged to think back on the past prayer request from Lin who admitted to being an emotional person. In the said prayer, the Linsanity asked his fans to pray for his emotional well-being as he is sometimes overruled by his feelings. He added that he had been plagued with anxiety lately. Hence, he needed the support of his followers to help him get over it.
"Please pray that I would stay in this state of mind," Lin shared earlier. "As a very emotional person, I know it can be a quick change from being in a great place mentally/spiritually to worrying and being anxious about my life and future."
The Hornets will face-off with the Heat this evening for Game 5 of the NBA Playoffs at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami. Once again, Lin urges his supporters to pray while noting his gratefulness to God after winning Game 4.
"Praise God for Game 4!! It was a big-time win for us and I remember just feeling soooo grateful to God after the game ended," shared Lin.
"Please pray for our team tonight as we play game 5. Miami is an extremely difficult place to play so prayer for our health, supernatural energy, our readiness to play and a great individual and team performance that results in a win! Also prayer for humility to trust God wholeheartedly no matter what the result of the game is."
For a detailed analysis of his latest playoff performance, click here.