Fan Blog: Playoff Win Means Everything to Hornets Fans
By John Hartman, hornets.com Fan Blogger
Hornets fan blogger John Hartman is a lifelong Charlotte basketball fan and current Swarm 365 team member. The opinions expressed here are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Hornets organization.
For me, last night was the culmination of being a season ticket holder for the last eight years. It was more than just a mere playoff win; to me it was validation that we belong here. The first two games had me thinking “here we go, whether it be injuries or pure luck (Miami’s shooting *cough*), this is just the 2010 and 2014 playoffs all over again.” However, this team remembered who they are last night and played together with the heart and hustle we saw all season.
Stars of the game:
- Steve Clifford – Sometimes it’s easy to forget how lucky we are to have Coach Cliff. He made the right adjustments as a result of the injury to Nic Batum and not the ridiculous shooting of Miami. I loved his press conference after Game 2. He didn’t panic and blow up our game plan. Instead he reiterated to the team that they were playing well within the system and sometimes there’s nothing you can do. I mean seriously, Miami shot 60 percent in Game 1 and 56 percent in Game 2 on contested shots, which is unheard of.
- Frank Kaminsky – Props to coach for keeping Frank in the game and believing in him. Five minutes into the game, I’m not sure there was anyone in the arena, outside of coach, who didn’t think we needed to sub out Frank. The playoffs proved to be a whole new animal for him and through halftime of Game 3 it looked like he lost his growing confidence. However, rather than push Frank down to the end of the bench, coach kept going to Frank over and over again in the third. It was almost like someone flipped a switch in Frank and in a matter of seconds he went from Frank with no field goals in the series to Frank the Tank, the dominant post presence. The three-pointers will start falling again soon, but in the meantime Frank has proven to be a tough cover in the post for Miami. There was nothing more gratifying last night than seeing Frank take it right at Justise Winslow and score.
- Buzz City – The Hive was alive last night. From tipoff to the final horn, the fans were into it, including Nelly and MJ who were regularly jumping out of their seats. I was never lucky enough to attend a game at the Coliseum but would have to imagine that the Hive was pretty comparable to that last night. There’s a reason that I, likely along with thousands of other fans, have no voice today. Playing at an arena without bandwagon parking looked to be a shock for Miami.
A couple honorable mentions also go to Jeremy Lin and Marvin Williams. It was great to see the two of them get back in their grove and play the way they have all season.
Can’t wait to see this momentum carry into Game 4. See you at the Hive!