For the first time in his Philadelphia 76ers career, Spencer Hawes will not be in the Sixers starting lineup when he has been healthy. Hawes and second year guard Evan Turner were replaced by Nikola Vucevic and Jodie Meeks in the starting lineup. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-US PRESSWIRE
Jodie Meeks starting for Evan Turner wasn't a shock after Doug Collins quotes after the Orlando Magic loss, although it has been hotly debated since. He said he would give the starting lineup one more chance, and the Boston game was atrocious.
More of a shock is benching Spencer Hawes, who has only played 12 games since returning from injury. Not that it's not deserving -- Hawes is shooting just 42.9% since coming back from injury -- but Vucevic had been used very sparingly of late. Before his 28 minutes in the Boston blowout, Vucevic had only played 3 minutes in the last 4 games, and had only played double figures minutes once in the previous 9 games.
Collins has preferred making two starting lineup changes in the past to avoid making one person a scapegoat, as when Turner was promoted to being the starter over Meeks back in early March he starting Vucevic over Lavoy Allen, who had previously been starting for the injured Hawes. Vucevic ended up only starting three games as Hawes returned shortly thereafter.
Collins had previously stated Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, and Andre Iguodala would be his starting perimeter for the remainder of the season. He went back on that promise 18 games last after the Sixers faltered, going 7-11 over that stretch, scoring only 90.2 points per game. They had previously been averaging 94.2 points per game.
Hawes had been a starter every game he's been available since becoming a Sixer, so it will be interesting to see his reaction to this.