Philadelphia 76ers center Spencer Hawes is finally expected to return to the court Wednesday against the Indiana Pacers after missing the prior 17 games with an Achilles' injury. The Sixers missed him quite dearly in his absence, and it'll be interesting to see how the team responds to his return.
Hawes participated fully in Tuesday's practice and said his body held up well.
"I felt good," Hawes told reporters after practice. "I've been waiting for a while to get back out there with my teammates. This is huge for me."
Coach Doug Collins has previously said that Hawes' minutes will be limited in his return, and that he won't play in back-to-backs. But even in a limited fashion, he'll help.
"It looks like he picked up right where he left off," Collins told reporters after practice. "He's ball-friendly, and for a big guy, he can really help space the floor for us. I want to get him right back in the mix."
The guy he was in the first few games was an All-Star. There's no chance he matches all of that Hawesomeness, but if he can come close, having Nikola Vucevic back on the Night Shift will round out a beautiful second unit. Here's hoping for cohesiveness and passing from the high post!