Wednesday was a pretty-solid night for Spencer Hawes
Before the game, he took the mic and thanked fans at Wells Fargo Center for the support. Afterward, he was talking into a mic as the star of the game.
Hawes should be riding high after Wednesday's season-opening win over Denver, in which the 7-1 center put up game-bests with 16 points, 12 rebounds and five blocked shots. He also had five assists in 32 minutes off the bench.
All of which prompted this Friday from 76ers coach Doug Collins
: "He should be thinking about getting Sixth Man of the Year."
It's not easy to sell reserve duty to a guy like Hawes, who's started 228 of 339 career games. But the 24-year-old said he's relishing his new job description -- as the Sixers' high-energy, do-everything big off the bench.
“I’ve been a starter
most of my career and there were a lot of changes this year," Hawes said. "You kind of have
to just roll with the punches and not look at it like that. I have to look at
it like, ‘Are you able to make a contribution to the game?’ and ‘Are you in at
crunch time when it matters?’"
And he is. Hawes had a brilliant fourth quarter against the Nuggets, during which he paired four points with four rebounds and two blocks in the final seven minutes of the game.
feels very good about his role with that second unit," Collins said of Hawes. "He’s shooting the ball
and not hesitating. Sometimes with that first unit, he’d look to make the play
and then not take the shot and maybe shoot it out of rhythm. I want Spencer to
take 11, 12, 13 shots. He gets guys shots off the dribble, a good dribble
hand-off guy, rolls out. When he sets screens, helps and slides out, he can
make the shot. He hit the big shot the other night to break the game open.
“Spencer is really smart. He knows the game and knows he’s
going to get his minutes," Collins continued. "Bobby Jones came off the bench and played 34, 35
minutes a game. … He feels good about that and when guys understand more
minutes doesn’t mean more production, that’s the thing you have to sell."
Doesn't seem like it was a hard sell for Hawes.
“It felt good to come out and get a win on opening night,
but it’s one of 82. We’ve got a lot more room to go," he said.
Labels: Bobby Jones, Doug Collins, Spencer Hawes