'Stretch' post players change 76ers dynamic

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Spencer Hawes. (Matt Slocum/AP)

Spencer Hawes, all 7-foot-1 and 250 pounds of him, is ranked 20th in the NBA in three-point shooting at 45.1 percent. 

The 76ers center has made three three-pointers in five different games this season. His contested, one-footed three-pointer with 1.7 seconds left forced overtime against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Thaddeus Young is shooting a team-second-best 41.2 percent from three-point range. He made 3 of 6 three-pointers in Tuesday’s 126-125 double-overtime victory over the Orlando Magic. It was the second time the power forward has made three three-pointers in a game this season.

No, these aren’t your father’s post players.

They personify a striking change in philosophy with the Sixers (7-12).  New coach Brett Brown wants the duo to spend as much time beyond the three-point line as they do on the low post.

“My opinion is when you are open, with those two players especially, I want them shooting it,” Brown said. “We don’t like ridiculously early on the clock. We don’t like dribble-ups when people are around.

“On a swing, swing, when those two guys are open, I encourage it.”

Brown wants Young to take two steps back to shoot threes as opposed to attempting a long twos.

“Forget my opinion, and just look at the percentages and math,” the coach said. “It would confirm that we are pretty close with that opinion.”

Young has attempted 34 three-pointers in the 16 games he’s played this season. The 25-year-old attempted a combined 34 in the previous three seasons (eight last season, four in 2011-12 and 22 in 2010-11).

Hawes has attempted 71 three-pointers in 17 games this season.  His  single-season career-high for three-point attempts are the 115 he had as a Sacramento King in 2008-09.  Hawes had 87 last season. They were most he attempted as a Sixer.

“With those two guys,” Brown said, “I am encouraging them in the right situation.” 

 - Keith Pompey

Follow and contact Inquirer 76ers beat writer Keith Pompey on Twitter @PompeyOnSixers

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