Silas is willing to embrace any high hopes that these Hornets can advance past the second round of the playoffs for the first time. But to do so he must strike a balance at power forward between two of the league's most volatile characters: Mason, who is likely to begin the season as Charlotte's sixth man, and Derrick Coleman. Silas must also find a three-point bomber and convey some of his rebounding expertise to a club that ranked 25th in that category a year ago.
After a two-month layoff from basketball this summer due to surgery on his shooting hand, Jones was so eager to begin the new season that he telephoned his teammates a month before the start of training camp and asked them to join him at the Hornets' practice facility. A more selfish veteran might have been grumbling about the gross injustice of the rookie Davis's making more money than he does this season. Instead Jones recently fulfilled yet another request from his protégé for a cutting-edge pair of sneakers. "Eddie could easily be one of those cocky stars who scores 25 points every game, but I'm glad he'd rather keep his teammates happy," Silas says. "Don't get me wrong, though. When it comes down to somebody taking the big shot, nine times out of 10 I want Eddie to take it."
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]