2001 NBA Finals

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'Too much nonsense'

Silas won't stand for Hornets' goofing off

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Posted: Saturday May 19, 2001 6:13 PM
Updated: Saturday May 19, 2001 11:55 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Paul Silas is tired of watching the Charlotte Hornets goofing around and warned his team Saturday to knock it off before it costs them their season.

"There's been too much laughter, too much nonsense going on," Silas said. "If you think you can laugh and kid and joke around and then go out and play, it's not going to work -- not in a game like this."

A few days ago, the Hornets were up 3-2 in their Eastern Conference semifinal series against Milwaukee and spent a practice session laughing and joking and working on dunks instead of getting ready to play the Bucks.

Then they lost Game 6, forcing the series back to Milwaukee for Sunday's decisive Game 7.

So before they boarded a plane for Milwaukee on Saturday, Silas worked them for almost two hours. There were no playful shouts heard and few smiles, especially from Silas.

"I've already told them this is biggest game in franchise history, so you've got to be serious," Silas said. "I didn't sense we were serious before."

Never before have the Hornets been in a Game 7 in the second round of the playoffs. In fact, before this season, they'd never even won two second-round games.

But making it this far -- even though Charlotte did it with yet another new group of players and still mourning the death of captain Bobby Phills last year -- Silas can't view it as an accomplishment.

"I don't even want to think about losing," he said.

Neither could forward P.J. Brown, who suffered through so many agonizing playoff defeats with the Miami Heat before being traded to Charlotte last August.

After losing a severely serious version of HORSE against guard Baron Davis at the end of practice, Brown walked off the court stonefaced.

"I've had a lot of pain, a lot of heartache and some long summers," Brown said. "My goal was not to beat Miami in the first round, it was to go to the Eastern Conference Finals and beyond. I'm not ready to go on summer vacation."

Silas wanted to see more of that from his players. He recalled the 1974 NBA title he won with Boston when the Celtics took a Game 7 in Milwaukee, and said how that team behaved was how he wanted the Hornets to act.

"When I was playing for championships, you could hear a pin drop all the time," he said. "There was no laughter; guys were focused. Nobody would say anything for 15 or 20 minutes and it was because everyone was visualizing. That was pretty successful for us."

Even if he wanted to tell the Hornets about that, Silas said it would not affect them.

"Nothing I can say to them will matter now," he said. "If you're not serious and motivated enough, then nothing I can say will change that."

Related information
SI Photo Gallery: Behind Closed Doors
CNNSI.com's Kevin Loughery: Historical perspective
Bucks sell out of Game 7 tickets in 25 minutes
Bucks taking business-like approach into Game 7
Ray Allen says keeping the Hornets under 100 points will be key. (123 K)
Jamal Mashburn believes that home-court advantage has been anything but in the series. (152 K)
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