The Philadelphia 76ers came into the 2012-2013 NBA season with the hopes that they could start to build their franchise around center Andrew Bynum. However, with Bynum’s lingering knee issues, he hasn’t touched the floor this season. Subsequently, Spencer Hawes has been the starting center for Philadelphia this season.
Hawes has had a largely unimpressive performance this season, despite occupying the starting role. He’s averaged just 10.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, two assists and 1.4 blocks per game. Even less impressive has been his efficiency as he’s shot just 45.1 percent from the field. The sixth-year center simply looked like a player that is and always will be run-of-the-mill.
On Saturday night against the Indiana Pacers, however, Hawes looked like one of the best big-men in the league. In that game, Hawes posted 18 points, 16 rebounds, eight assists and seven blocks while shooting 50 percent from the floor. That means that Hawes was just two assists and three blocks away from a quadruple-double. To put how great Hawes’ game was on Saturday, only three players in the last 40 years have posted those numbers in the same game. Those three players are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Hakeem Olajuwon and Charles Barkley, all of whom are members of the Hall of Fame.
Given how much those numbers differentiate from his averages and the company that stat-line puts him in, it feels relatively safe to say that Hawes had the game of his life. However, even if he never produces at those same levels again, Hawes should use Saturday’s game as a building-block moving forward. The Sixers need him to assert himself as a more effective player in this league, especially with the chance that Bynum may leave this off-season. If he can do that, it will greatly benefit this Philadelphia team; a near quadruple-double seems like a good place to start.