4 New Orleans Hornets A star's newly chiseled body gives the team a healthy outlook

October 27, 2003

Practice was winding down early in training camp, and players
were pairing off to shoot free throws. As he walked toward a
basket, Hornets point guard Baron Davis discarded his shirt,
revealing a torso straight off the cover of Men's Health.
Deltoids bulged, abs rippled. An onlooker let out a whistle and
said, "Damn, boy, you look slim. Look like a model." Davis smiled
like he'd just been asked to the prom.

Last season Davis missed 32 games because of knee and back
injuries, and when he was able to play, he lacked his trademark
champagne-pop hops. Frustrated with his physical condition, he
spent the off-season working out with his personal trainer in Los
Angeles and Las Vegas. He lifted, ran three to five miles every
morning, strengthened his back and his core muscles and stretched
for an hour a day. He also hired a personal chef, who lived with
him and prepared three low-carb meals a day. "Breakfast would be,
like, egg whites with tomatoes, turkey sausage and feta cheese,"
says Davis. "Then for lunch I'd have salmon and spinach or
something like that."

He lost 10 pounds, gained muscle and was soon posting up and
dunking again--"the first time I've done that in camp in two
years," Davis says. With free-agent acquisition Darrell Armstrong
on board to back him up, Davis should be better rested as well
this year. Now if forward Jamal Mashburn can also stay healthy
(he played 82 games for the first time in his career last
season), the Hornets could even get past the second round of the
playoffs, something they've never done in their 15-year history.

Even if they don't, Davis will enjoy at least one fringe benefit.
"Women seem to like the new look," he says. "All except my
grandmother. She keeps telling me I'm getting too skinny." --C.B.

COLOR PHOTO: BILL FRAKES Baron Davis

ENEMY LINES
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Hornets

"With his poor record from his days as the scapegoat for the
Bulls, Tim Floyd (49-190) is going to have to earn the respect of
the veterans, who loved playing for Paul Silas. A good start is
going to be important for him.... This is the kind of
well-balanced, talented group that Floyd dreamed of coaching in
Chicago. After years of searching they've finally found an
excellent backup point guard in Darrell Armstrong, who's also a
vocal leader. He'll have an especially positive influence on
Baron Davis, a tremendous talent who can get a little carried
away with himself.... David Wesley is 32, but he's a Charles
Oakley type in that he's tough, strong and always in good shape.
Armstrong is 35, but he looks 10 years younger, and he was diving
for loose balls in preseason.... Davis and Wesley really know how
to complement each other, playing off screens or floating into
the open spaces. The Hornets do a lot of double screening, during
which the guards will go one way then reverse direction, and they
always seem to be wide open when they receive the ball. Both
players are also strong enough to take post guards up....
Re-signing P.J. Brown was important because he gives them a bit
of everything at both ends of the floor. He and Jamaal Magloire
make a nice twosome up front, though neither is a scorer you
would look to establish inside.... Jamal Mashburn is one of the
best offensive players in the East, and a key for this team is
that he continues to exhibit the leadership and all-around play
that made him an All-Star last season.... First-round pick David
West is a four-year collegian from Xavier who can contribute
immediately. He can hit the midrange jumper, post up and deliver
the ball with his interior passing. I'd play him ahead of
'Tractor' Traylor, who is getting so big he looks more like a
train than a tractor."

FAST FACT
For the 13th time in 14 seasons the Hornets had a better record
after the All-Star break (21-11) than they did before it
(26-24).

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP with 2002-03 statistics

Record: 47-35 (5th in East)
Points scored: 93.9 (19th in NBA)
Points allowed: 91.8 (5th)
Coach: Tim Floyd
(first season with Hornets)

JAMAAL MAGLOIRE

POS. PVR PPG RPG APG
C 108 10.3 8.8 1.1

BPG SPG FG% FT%
1.35 0.60 48.0 71.7

JAMAL MASHBURN

POS. PVR PPG RPG APG
SF 18 21.6 6.1 5.6

SPG FG% 3FG% FT%
1.01 42.2 38.9 84.8

BARON DAVIS

POS. PVR PPG RPG APG
PG 44 17.1 3.7 6.4

SPG FG% 3FG% FT%
1.82 41.6 35.0 71.0

DAVID WESLEY

POS. PVR PPG RPG APG
SG 85 16.7 2.4 3.4

SPG FG% 3FG% FT%
1.49 43.3 42.4 78.1

P.J. BROWN

POS. PVR PPG RPG APG
PF 79 10.7 9.0 1.9

BPG SPG FG% FT%
1.03 0.86 53.1 83.6

BENCH PVR* 2002-03 KEY STATS

G[1] DARRELL
ARMSTRONG 174 9.4 ppg 3.6 rpg 3.9 apg 1.65 spg 40.9 FG%
F-G GEORGE
LYNCH 194 4.5 ppg 4.4 rpg 1.3 apg 0.81 spg 40.9 FG%
F-C ROBERT
TRAYLOR 248 3.9 ppg 3.8 rpg 0.54 bpg 0.65 spg 44.3 FG%
F[1] DAVID
WEST (R) 279 20.1 ppg 11.8 rpg 3.2 apg 1.63 bpg 51.3 FG%
F-G STACEY
AUGMON 314 3.0 ppg 1.7 rpg 1.0 apg 0.39 spg 41.1 FG%

NEW ACQUISITION[1]
(R) Rookie (statistics for final college season)
*PVR: Player Value Ranking (explanation on page 94)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)