Spencer Hawes likes his role, and Sixers coach Brett Brown loves how the seven-year veteran has gravitated to what is being asked of him.
“He has been really, really good,” Brown said. “He has bought in in every sense of the word with the young guys and the style, with the length of time we have decided to practice and how we handle days after games and the attention we are trying to place on recovery. All those health-related issues, he’s been great. He’s been a real leader.”
Hawes will turn 26 next month. He is entering his fourth year as a Sixer, and despite being in a contract year, the man is content.
He knows the Sixers are rebuilding, and he understands what goes along with that process.
“There is a learning curve for everyone right now, trying to figure out the spacing because that is a little bit different. The spots on the floor are different, but all in all it is an equal opportunity offense,” Hawes said. “That’s what I like: I like having the ball in my hands and being able to make plays for my teammates. A lot of the stuff that [coach Brett Brown] does calls for the big men to do that.”
Friday night when the Sixers beat the Celtics by 12 points, Hawes was the game-changer. He scored 13 second-quarter points, helping the Sixers turn a one-point deficit at the end of one quarter into a 16-point halftime lead.
“My first game is always bad,” Hawes said referring to his 1-for-8 shooting against Bilbao. “The second game I was OK, and the other night I was better. Early I am more worried about acclimating myself and not really worried about the statistical stuff. I think we have played well as a team. Friday night I thought on offense we were a lot more cohesive -- that is more where I am judging play so far.”
Tonight the Nets will be without starting point guard Deron Williams. He has yet to play in preseason because of an injured ankle.
Andrei Kirilenko and Jason Terry are also sidelined.