Touching me, touching you.
"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." – Doug Collins, from Sixers.com
When I heard Doug Collins wanted to start Spencer Hawes at power forward and Kwame Brown at center, I had to restrain myself from Stone Cold Stunning every piece of furniture in my bedroom – it made no sense. Spencer Hawes can't guard power forwards, and him and Kwame would've been the worst offensive combination of PF/C in the league. But now that Andrew Bynum is the Sixers starting center, starting Hawes at the four actually makes sense.
Hawes still can't guard power forwards, but with the addition of Andrew Bynum, the Sixers have enough players to somewhat mask Hawes defensive deficiencies at the four. Because the Sixers have a legitimate defensive presence in the post, for the first time since Samuel Dalembert, Hawes will have legitimate help behind him, and won't have to defend the opposing team's best post scorer. And because starting Hawes at the four creates offensive balance for the rest of the starting lineup, it allows Collins to start a backcourt of Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner, without fear of inadequate floor spacing. And starting both Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner, gives the Sixers two above average perimeter defenders, to go along with Bynum's defensive prowess in the post, so Hawes won't be asked do too much defensively, other than stand there with his hands up.
On the other side of the ball, Hawes' ability to "stretch the floor", and pass from the high post, gives the Sixers a balanced offense – on paper – for the first time since I can remember. Jrue and Evan can both drive and dish. Dorell Wright or Jason Richardson can stand in the corner and shoot open threes. Spencer Hawes can find cutters and/or Bynum from the high post. And Andrew Bynum can do his thing from the post, without an excess of paint-traffic. And keeping Thaddeus Young on the bench plays to both his individual, and the team's strength.
Without Louis Williams, the Sixers bench won't be nearly as potent as it was last season. And without Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand, the Sixers elite team defense will inevitably suffer. But the team should be incredibly balanced on both ends of the floor. Not only does the addition of Andrew Bynum give the Sixers a potential franchise player, and make everyone else on the team better – but it gives Doug Collins an abundance of options.
Kelly Dwyer, of Ball Don't Lie, also has some stuff to say about the Hawes-Bynum tandem.
But as a table-setter and screener, presuming his ratios sustain, [Hawes] could continue to do some impressive stuff for Bynum, Philly's remaining cutters and finishers, and Collins' offense.