Statistically speaking, Doug Collins has one of the best benches in the NBA. But that's not stock he's willing to buy.
A couple factors have contributed to Collins' struggling to find the right mix, night to night. Who comes off the bench first? Who goes in what role? Who's a scoring source? Who can provide lock-down defense?
“Teams are trying to
find who their bench is," Collins said Monday, after practice at PCOM. "Last year, our bench was Lou (Williams), Thad
(Young), Lavoy (Allen) and Evan (Turner) – three starters now and a guy who’s
not on our team. And so we’re trying to create something that, maybe, was our
greatest strength last year. We’re trying to find out."
The Sixers, who rank fourth in the NBA with 38.8 points per game from their reserves, trail only Denver, San Antonio and Dallas in bench points. Still, plenty of uncertainty surrounds the Sixers' bench, with Collins citing a sense of belonging among his non-starters. Saturday, Collins went to his bench for only 49 minutes of a possible 240 in a loss at Chicago.
"What we have to do with
that is know who you are, know what you bring and bring that every night so I can
count on that," Collins said, of what he tells his bench players. "The thing that we have is we don’t have a lot of separation.
What happens if I need Royal Ivey, but not Maalik (Wayns)? Now Maalik goes, ‘I don’t
know what my role is because I didn’t play tonight.’ Or Royal gets a couple
DNPs and goes, ‘I haven’t been in the rotation.’ Or Kwame (Brown) gets eight
minutes in Charlotte, then doesn’t play the other night, but I need him big
tomorrow night against (Minnesota's Nikola) Pekovic. So that’s what you’re up against. Just
be consistent with who you are and your role will be there."
One of those reserves from whom the Sixers need more is Spencer Hawes (pictured), whose production has dipped tremendously since posting a double-double and eliciting 'M-V-P' chants from a sold-out Wells Fargo Center Oct. 31 in the season opener.
And Hawes knows it.
“I’ve always been harder on
myself than anyone else," Hawes said.
More on Hawes Tuesday, so check back then.
Labels: Doug Collins, Evan Turner, Kwame Brown, Lavoy Allen, Lou Williams, Maalik Wayns, Minnesota Timberwolves, Nikola Pekovic, Royal Ivey, Spencer Hawes, Thad Young