Posted by: C. Smith
10/18/12 1:06 pm EST

I have written numerous times on this site that I believe Spencer Hawes will not be able to hold on to the starting spot Doug Collins so kindly granted him this summer.  If you recall, DC said repeatedly during this past off-season that Hawes would be his starting power forward alongside the newly acquired Andrew Bynum.  To me the move just made no sense.

My analysis of this interesting lineup decision was very simple.  Yes Spence can stretch the floor on offense with his passing and silky jumper, but Hawes is not physical enough to match up at the other end with the beasts playing at the 4-spot in the NBA.  He also isn’t quick enough to cover the weak side when Bynum gets caught out of position while chasing a potential blocked shot.  I also went on to say that I wouldn’t be surprised if Arnett Moultrie replaced Hawes in the first-five by Christmas time.

Well, Christmas came early this year to Philadunkia nation.

After the jump, video of coach Collins announcing that Hawes likely will not be in the starting lineup on opening night.

 Fast forward to the 4 minute mark and you’ll witness what I am talking about…


Now DC does leave a little escape route for himself by prefacing that Hawes will not be in the starting lineup ‘if Bynum is not ready for opening night’, but I think the message is clear here.  He also attempts not to throw Hawes too far under the bus by stating that his reasoning for starting Thad Young and Lavoy Allen in Bynum’s absence is that he likes how Thad and Allen work together, but again I think he was trying to discreetly deliver a message to Hawes. 

However, DC is not so subtle with his message delivery when he called out Hawes last night for grabbing zero defensive rebounds vs. Cleveland.  Hawes has pulled in only 12 total defensive boards during the last four preseason games in 91 minutes of run.  For comparisons sake, Moultrie (a rookie) had 4 last night and has 10 overall this preseason in just 51 minutes of play. 

So what do you think about DC’s quotes? 

Were they carefully chosen words to motivate Hawes or are Spence’s (and his mullett’s) days as a starter over here in Philly?


8 Responses to “THAT DIDN’T TAKE LONG”

  1. Pete
    18. October 2012 at 14:06

    Lavoy has to be the logical choice to start at PF. He is a better rebounder and defender than Hawes or Thad. He’s big enough to guard 4s (unlike Thad) and quick enough to guard them (unlike Hawes). When he plays, he shows the same range on his jumper and knocks it down pretty consistently. We downgraded our perimeter defense with the loss of Iggy. As a result, there will be fewer rebounds to grab. Bynum can’t do it all himself. If Lavoy is his frontcourt mate down there, we may be a top 3 rebounding team. Elton Brand was statistically the best post defender in the league last year. After seeing the difference in KG’s production in the Celtics series with Hawes guarding vs Lavoy guarding, I don’t really see why Hawes is even up for discussion to play the 4. Behind point guard, it’s the deepest position in the league. If Hawes is getting murdered by a KG that is admittedly past his offensive prime, what is he going to do against the studs of the league at the position? Hawes biggest strength is his jumper and Lavoy/Thad shoot the same if not better from midrange. And on a team full of shooters now, jump shooting isn’t even a priority. We have it in abundance. Hawes is blocking the development of Arnett Moultrie by being in the rotation also. And he’s a player that actually does have the potential to be our starting 4 for years to come because of his athleticism. I hear he also has range on the jumper. We should trade Spencer. We know what he is. He isn’t going to grow a increased vertical or added agility. He’s a mediocre center and we have Andrew Bynum. It would be foolish to slide his mediocrity to a position he doesn’t play.

  2. Steve Toll
    18. October 2012 at 14:08

    Thad is obviously going to be a better fit with Bynum>Lavoy>Hawes but any combo of those 3 guys is going to be better than any combo with Thad, he is a 3.

    I actually wanted to point out that DC goes, “did we make 12 3s in any games last season?”

    Id of given a Ronnie Lott size piece of my pinkie to be in the room and say,

    “One time coach but in the 15 games that the team took 18 or more 3pt attempts which was about league average, the team shot 39.1% from downtown and went 9-6”

  3. Chris
    18. October 2012 at 14:29

    Well I remember that according to the +/- numbers, when Thad and Lavoy were on the court together we eviscerated the Celtics.

    Here’s what I love about the Lavoy/Thad lineup. Evan Turner’s defensive rebounding has a value. With Bynum, he’s basically a non-entity, but this will allow him to contribute with Thad’s perceived lack of ability to grab boards.

    The only thing I don’t like is that Lavoy seemingly can’t establish position on the block on the offensive end. And if that’s the offense we’re going to be switching to, it might be a little dicey.

  4. Sloetry
    18. October 2012 at 16:46

    One thing that shocks me with the NBA in general is how few players box out properly on the defensive boards. Everybody ball watches… you rarely see players look behind them to see who is the nearest offensive player to them and get their backside on them. I appreciate athleticism is different and maybe warrants some leniency on this basic rebounding rule, especially as good rebounders like to judge the flight of the ball to gauge where it’s likely to come out… but last night was a clear example of basic defensive rebounding errors. Maybe players have so much else going on in their heads this early in the (pre)season, as they get used to new players and plays etc., but a fundamental skill should be natural to players at this level.

  5. Hank
    18. October 2012 at 17:22

    I really don’t get how he makes these comments based on a sample size as small as a preseason. last year, Hawes was our best defensive rebounder and second best overall rebounder behind Vucevic who, obviously isn’t here. Clearly Bynum is our best rebounder now, but if Bynum can’t go and what Collins wants is rebounding, then he should be starting Hawes over Lavoy or Thad until they can prove they are better rebounder than him over a decent sample size.

    Moultrie is obviously still an unknown, and he was a strong rebounder in college, but there was no mention of him by Collins during that segment.

    One thing that I loved, though, was his praise of Dorrell Wright. He has been a consistently strong player, and with Bynum (hopefully) creating a log jam in the middle he should fit in well. A necessary plus is that he can play defense at a level that can keep him on the floor for DC.

  6. Steve Toll
    18. October 2012 at 23:47


    I agree with that assessment, which makes guys who can keep an eye on the ball and one eye on guys from the other team extremely valuable rebounders.


    Good point about Bynum’s direct influence on ETs defensive rebounder numbers and if he can manage to be non-terrible on offense, he will be valuable to some degree. Thad gets a bad rap as a rebounder because their is a lack of understanding in how much more valuable an offensive rebound truly is. Last season there were 35 guys wholayed 24mpg and had both a higher defensive and offensive rebounding %


    You are absolutely right with both of your points.

  7. RYN_JAY
    19. October 2012 at 01:38

    Lavoy should start at 4.

  8. Philadunkia » TO PLAY or NOT TO PLAY???
    19. October 2012 at 10:31

    […] my colleague Carey Smith pointed out in his last article, Spencer Hawes in great jeopardy of losing his starting position by the start of the season to most […]

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