9) Long-range shooting forward Scott Burrell, who underwent surgery last February to repair a dislocated shoulder, makes a healthy return.
8) Former Knicks forward Anthony Mason aptly replaces Larry Johnson on the court and as a team leader.
7) He gets a mention in the tonsorial hill-hoards that Mason calls haircuts.
6) Vlade Divac, second among NBA centers in assists last season, remains as pass-happy in Charlotte as he was as a Laker.
5) There is no more locker room grousing from All-Star swingman Glen Rice.
4) Owner George Shinn opens his wallet to help Charlotte acquire frontcourt depth.
3) The sellout streak at Charlotte Coliseum—317 games heading into the season—continues even if the team struggles.
2) There is marked improvement on defense. (The 41-41 Hornets allowed 100 or more points 53 times last season and were 18-35 in those games.)
1) To make the playoffs.