Spencer Hawes’ offensive role is changing, and the role change has been good. He’s scoring less, but increasing his defensive output. The Philadelphia 76ers can credit his new role to their surprising four-game win streak.
Hawes’ scoring has dropped each game the Sixers won, and their wins have been getting better. Since the streak, he has been a major boost on the defensive side.
The Sixers have been winning convincingly too, with Hawes stepping up his defense. The margin of victory in the win against the Portland Trail Blazers may not have been big, but the win is impressive. Hawes had something to do with that squeaker.
He nearly had a triple-double, but more importantly, allowed the Sixers’ main scorers, Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner, to get more shots. Young and Turner were able to create more shots, while Hawes could focus on a big task in guarding Trail Blazers big men Robin Lopez and LaMarcus Aldridge, both of whom are double-double machines.
Lopez was still effective — he had a double-double — but was also forced to go to the free throw line where he shot 60 percent.
Hawes hasn’t been as effective defensively or even in the paint. He’s averaging 1.5 blocks and .6 steals, but he’s been playing more aggressively the last four games. His aggressiveness has also helped the Sixers force their opponents to turn the ball over more. He managed to steal the ball four times against the Trail Blazers.
Hawes’ biggest role isn’t on the statistical end, it’s allowing the rest of the starting lineup to play bigger roles while his diminishes.