The Hornets lost two games with Batum then won two without him, though the victories were in Charlotte. The challenge will again me immense in Miami tonight with or without Batum.
Reintegrating him might not be seamless, especially if he’s limited physically. But he has helped the Hornets all season. It’s on Steve Clifford to balance Batum’s ability and what worked for Charlotte the previous two games.
Frank Kaminsky, Batum’s replacement in the starting lineup, stepped up in Game 3 then produced a dud in Game 4. As long as he’s healthy enough, Batum is a better option than the rookie Kaminsky – even if Kaminsky played one excellent game. Batum is the better player. That hasn’t changed.
The Hornets don’t necessarily need Batum to win, as we’ve seen. But he helps.