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Augustin was having a horrible night shooting from the field, and Silas noticed he was starting to pass up open shots.

So Silas called a timeout.

When Augustin got the sideline, Silas looked him in the eyes and gave the 6-foot point guard a lesson he’s never forgotten.

“I brought him over to the bench and I said, `Son, if you ever pass up another shot I’m going to take you out of the game and I’m not going to play you at all,’” Silas said. “I told him, `Listen, every time you get the ball, I want you to shoot it.’”

Augustin did just that, making his next couple of shots.

He’s not stopped shooting since.

“The fact that I had some confidence in him just seemed to open up a whole new world for him,” Silas said.

Augustin’s average went from 12.6 points to 14.4 at the end of the season.

Paul gave me a lot of confidence,” Augustin said. “Paul is such a positive coach, such a positive person that he makes you believe in yourself. When you walk out on the court, you feel like every shot is going in. You’re able to learn from your mistakes. You’re not going to be perfect and he knows that.”

Augustin thinks there’s something about Silas‘ laid-back demeanor that meshes with his personality.

“I think it is just how he talks and speaks to you,” Augustin said. “He shows everybody that same respect. He’s so positive. If you miss a shot, he’ll tell you, `Hey, it’s OK, keep shooting.’ That makes you want to keep shooting.”

That includes in big games against the Heat.

Silas said this game will serve as a measuring stick for the Bobcats and just how far they’ve come and how far they have to go.

“I’d like to see how we do against a team like that,” Silas said. “Can we stay competitive and not get blown away? I think if we do that we will have a chance to really improve. But it’s tough to keep a team like that down.”