The reason 76ers coach Doug Collins said of Spencer Hawes following his 15-point, eight-rebound game, “God, I wish I could bottle Spencer tonight” is rather obvious.
When Hawes plays well this season, the Sixers (12-9) usually win.
Headed into Wednesday’s game with Chicago the Sixers are 6-0 when Hawes scores in double figures. Over the past four games, Hawes is averaging 10.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and a pair of blocks. This season Hawes is averaging 7.6 points and 5.5 rebounds.
Before Hawes had 10 points and six rebounds in the Sixers’ 95-94 overtime victory over Boston last Friday, Hawes’ high-point night was just seven points in the previous eight games.
Hawes said that some of the problems he has had this season have been a byproduct of trying to make the adjustment from a starter last season to coming off the bench this season. Hawes started all 81 games two seasons ago. Last season Hawes started 29 of the 37 games he appeared in during the regular season.
“I think (that it has something to do with it), but it’s not an excuse by any means. But it is a different mindset. You have to prepare differently and you have to attack the game in a different fashion.”
The difference, Hawes says, is “You just don’t have time to come in and feel the game out. You have to come in and right away get yourself going. If you don’t, you get your little stint and then you’re done. You might not get the chance to present yourself again. Now I have to make my mark as soon as my name is called.”
Looking at how Collins has used his big men in recent games, Hawes could continue to get more opportunities. It’s clear that center Kwame Brown, who has strung together three consecutive DNP-CDs, is going to have to show Collins that he can once again help the Sixers.