Nicolas Batum.

Nicolas Batum explains how Michael Jordan inspired Charlotte's recent form

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The Charlotte Hornets are approaching the playoffs as the form team in the Eastern Conference. 

Having clinched their spot after a 12-month absence, due to the Chicago Bulls' loss to the Detroit Pistons, the Michael Jordan-led franchise have been turning heads with their exciting style of play. 

They surprised a number of experts to reach the postseason and will be a serious threat to any potential opponent. Their fate will be decided after tonight's final round of games.

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Having suffered in the first month of 2016, the Hornets have produced a 25-9 record that places them as the third best team in the NBA, behind the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs, since the beginning of February. 

Niclas Batum believes the Hornets' upturn in form has a lot to do with the franchise's famous owner, who spoke about his experiences of coming through tough spots during his days on the court. 

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The Frenchman said: "You know in January we had a very, very bad month. We had injuries, a bad stretch, so that was tough for us. And we have a meeting like, in the last two weeks of January with the coach and MJ – Michael Jordan. 

"We just talked. We figured out what was happening. I think Michael Jordan found the good words to put us back on track. He talked about his experience, what he’s been through, because he told us he had been through that himself. 

NBA All-Star Game 2016

"So we regrouped that day, we said, ‘OK, we had bad stretches, but we have to get back on track and win games,’ and we did it, and that is where we are."

Their form since February has seen the Hornets produce some impressive displays, none more so than their comeback victory over the San Antonio Spurs.

Inspired by Jeremy Lin, who dropped 29 points, San Antonio succumbed to their biggest comeback loss of the Tim Duncan era and Charlotte sent a message to their competitors. 

If that was not enough, their recent win over the Boston Celtics was certainly a statement of intent. The most successful franchise in NBA history held the fourth spot in the east but were put to the sword by the Hornets at the Time Warner Cable Arena.

Lin and Batum have been incredible additions to the organisation that appear to have taken them to the next level. But can their improvement lead to a deep run in the playoffs?

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Charlotte Hornets
Southeast Division
Eastern Conference
Nicolas Batum
Michael Jordan

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