Before back and Achilles injuries sidelined him, Spencer Hawes was the key to the Sixers offense last season. It wasn’t about the points, it was his passing that got the ball moving side-to-side against the defense and created good looks for others. Without him the offense stagnated some, he was not the same player upon his return and the Sixers finished with the 20th best offense in the league in points per possession.
This season, coach Doug Collins again sees Hawes as a key to the Philadelphia offense again, just in a different role.
Collins wants Hawes to be the Pau Gasol to newly acquired Andrew Bynum. That’s what he told the Sixers official Web site (via SLAM).
“I want (Hawes) to play the Pau Gasol role with Bynum,” Collins said. “Both (Hawes and Gasol) like to play out on the perimeter because they can shoot the ball and are very good passers.”
I like Hawes but lets be clear, on a good day he is a poor man’s Gasol. He is not as skilled.
Still, the idea makes sense. Hawes can shoot the midrange and he is an adept passer. If Evan Turner and Jrue Holiday can take steps forward, they can play off that, too.
It’s a good plan, I’m just not as convinced as many that Philly made that big a leap by getting Bynum. At least in the short term. I need to be convinced that Bynum can handle the load as the focus of a team — can he pass out of the coming double teams better than he has before? Can he bring defensive focus every night and not just sometimes? Can Hawes really step into a Gasol role? Can Evan Turner make the next step forward? Same with Jrue Holiday?
There is potential in Philly and that brings hope to a clearly excited fan base. It’s going to be a fun season in the City of Brotherly Love. And if Spencer Hawes really can be a poor man’s Pau Gasol this season, they will take a nice step forward toward that potential.
Doc Rivers was not out of a job long.
Considered an elite coach and leader of men, a guy pushed out the door in Los Angeles by a frustrated owner in Steve Ballmer, Doc Rivers has accepted a deal to become the new head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, a story broken by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
This was expected, and it came together fast. Rivers was let go by the Clippers on Monday and by Thursday had agreed to the deal with Philly.
Philadelphia had been looking for not only a coach but other voices in the front office to work with GM Elton Brand. Rivers, who had been team president in Los Angeles at one point, had that kind of voice with the Clippers in a collaborative front office. He likely will assume a similar role with the Sixers, having input on player and personnel decisions, not just Xs and Os.
Rivers also jumps from one roster expected to contend for a title but having fit and chemistry issues to another.
Doc Rivers needs to find an offensive system in Philadelphia where both Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons can thrive next to each other, along with Tobias Harris, Josh Richardson, and Al Horford. There’s not much spacing or shooting there, which is why Shake Milton was getting a lot of run from former coach Brett Brown.
Roster tweaks would be coming, but with Rivers the idea will be making better use of the existing roster — and the style of play it forces.
The buzz around the league is that Tyronn Lue will take the Clippers job, which leaves Mike D’Antoni looking at places such as Indiana and New Orleans.
Vince Carter’s 22-year NBA career ended amid the chaos of coronavirus, preventing him from getting the deserved fanfare.
But fellow players will send Carter into retirement with the NBA Sportsmanship Award.
NBA players have selected Vince Carter as the recipient of the 2019-20 NBA Sportsmanship Award, the NBA announced today.
Carter, who spent the 2019-20 season with the Atlanta Hawks, announced his retirement from the NBA in June after playing a league-record 22 seasons. He receives the Joe Dumars Trophy as the winner of the NBA Sportsmanship Award. Dumars, a two-time NBA champion and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, played 14 NBA seasons and won the inaugural Sportsmanship Award in the 1995-96 season.
Each NBA team nominated one of its players for the NBA Sportsmanship Award, which is designed to honor a player who best represents the ideals of sportsmanship on the court. From the list of 30 team nominees, a panel of league executives selected one finalist from each of the NBA’s six divisions. Current NBA players selected the winner from the list of six finalists, with more than 250 players submitting their votes through confidential balloting conducted by the league office.
Full voting (with first-, second-, third-, fourth-, fifth- and sixth-place votes and voting points):
1. Vince Carter (Hawks): 143-70-34-13-4-2-2,520
2. Garrett Temple (Nets): 22-78-63-52-25-26-1,746
3. Steven Adams (Thunder): 34-57-41-52-58-24-1,632
4. Harrison Barnes (Kings): 24-25-75-48-35-59-1,418
5. Langston Galloway (Pistons): 23-22-29-60-79-53-1,244
7. Tyus Jones (Grizzlies): 20-14-24-41-65-102-1,016
What a nice honor for Carter, who gracefully aged from high-profile star to veteran mentor.
Bam Adebayo‘s and Goran Dragic‘s injuries… not looking great for the Heat approaching Game 2 of the NBA Finals.
This is a disaster for Miami. The Lakers dominated Game 1, and now the Heat have two starters hobbled at best. At worst and more likely, Adebayo and Dragic are out.
Adebayo would be the bigger loss. Miami was completely overmatched when facing Anthony Davis without a center. Kelly Olynyk and Meyers Leonard can try to keep up, but they’re far from great solutions.
At least the Heat have more options at point guard. Kendrick Nunn can get an elevated role (especially after excelling in garbage time of Game 1). Jimmy Butler can become the de facto point guard. Tyler Herro can also play the position. But Dragic was playing so well during Miami’s run through the Eastern Conference. This is also a major setback.
Doc Rivers is gaining momentum in the 76ers’ coaching search.
As for the job Rivers left behind with the Clippers… Clippers assistant and former Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue, unsurprisingly, has the inside track.
Marc Stein of The New York Times:
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
The Clippers are planning to interview other candidates, starting soon, sources said.
The New Orleans Pelicans are planning to interview Lue in the near future too, sources said.
Lue would be a sensible hire. He has championship experience, which would help the Clippers hit the ground running in a make-or-break season before Kawhi Leonard and Paul George can become unrestricted free agents. Lue managed stars in LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. The Clippers must improve their chemistry around their stars. And the last time Lue got promoted from assistant to head coach, his team won a title.
New Orleans also has an appealing job. But the Clippers are far closer to championship contention. And if both teams want Lue, I bet Clippers owner Steve Ballmer would outspend Pelicans owner Gayle Benson.
Still, the Clippers are conducting a coaching search. Other candidates could emerge. This isn’t necessarily Lue’s job for the taking.
How long would he wait on L.A. if the Pelicans make an offer? Lue has shown he values being entrusted.