In his pre game meeting with the media, Sixers coach Doug Collins said that starting center Spencer Hawes would "probably not" play tonight when the team hosts the Denver Nuggets.
Hawes had been battling a back problem, but that seemed to get much better earlier in the week. Then on Tuesday he showed up at practice with a strained Achilles'. Collins hinted at the time that the new injury could be due to Hawes overcompensating for his back.
In his place tonight, Collins said that rookie Nikola Vucevic would get his first start. Collins called the game an "up-and-down" contest and that having the younger Vucevic start over veteran Tony Battie seemed to be the better idea.