There's been no clearer statistic for the Sixers this season than the one that will follow this colon:
- Sixers record with Spencer Hawes: 12-2
- Sixers record without Spencer Hawes: 8-10
- Pieces of luggage Spencer Hawes has posed with: Two.
- Amount of Drake Doremus films based on the Sixers collective relationships with Spencer Hawes: One.
Despite the commoner's statistics telling us over 10 points and 8 rebounds, relatively run-of-the-mill numbers from a starting center, it's quite obvious that Hawes has been the Sixers #gamechanger thus far, and a good chunk of their struggles of late have been due to Spencer's absence. The last game the Sixers lost when Hawes played was THE THIRD GAME OF THE SEASON. WHAT?
Every advanced metric fawns upon the 14 magnificent games Hawes played in 2012. A team-leading .584 and .576 True Shooting and Effective Field Goal Percentages, .216 win shares per 48 minutes, and some extremely solid O- and DRtgs. Most impressively, a 24.7 DRB% and a 16.6 AST% puts him in elite company. The kind of elite company with 8 other names with a 20+ DRB% and a 15+ AST%: Tim Duncan, Josh Smith, Blake Griffin, Kevin Garnett, Pau Gasol, Kevin Durant, LeBron James AND......Evan Turner! Go figs.
The Sixers desperately need Spencer to return. He sets up the offense from the top of the key, has been hitting shots at an absurd percentage (74.2% at the rim!) (56% from 16-23!!!), and plays some Decidedly Decent Defense (the 3 D's). Nikola Vucevic and Lavoy Allen have been unequivocally inseparable and admirably passable with Hawes out, but they're still a bit ripe for starter's minutes.
It remains to be seen how long he can sustain his objectively unsustainable career-highs, but if a summer with Shawn Kemp did the trick, then Spencer's timely return would do well towards bringing the Sixers back from Denny Green-ness. He's supposed to be seeing a specialist for his gawky Achilles. Here's hoping the Sixers #gamechanger comes back fresh post-All Star Break and the sky can stop falling onto our scalps.