Center Spencer Hawes out for Sixers tonight

Instead of risking more injury, Sixers coach Doug Collins has decided to sit ailing center Spencer Hawes tonight against the New York Knicks as they'll look for their seventh straight win of the young season.

Hawes hurt his back in Saturday's win over the Toronto Raptors, but was well enough to collect 16 points and 14 rebounds two nights later against the visiting Detroit Pistons. Tuesday night though, after playing 11 minutes in the first half, Hawes' back started to spasm and he did not return to the court in the second half. Collins decided it was better to give his center some rest in hopes of getting the back to heal quicker. The Sixers play the Washington Wizards at home on Friday before traveling there for a rematch on Saturday.

In Hawes' place, Collins started veteran Tony Battie, explaining that he wanted a veteran on the floor to start the game against the Knicks. He also wanted to keep rookie Nik Vucevic in his now normal role of coming off the bench.