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On Spencer Hawes Importance

Kate Fagan's latest piece highlights the importance of Spencer Hawes' passing ability to the Sixers offense, citing the stagnant offense from last night in his absence. While I agree the added dimension Spencer adds to the offense is important, I don't think it's as black and white as "see what happens to the offense without Spencer".

Yes, the Sixers missed Hawes against the Knicks last night, but I think tired legs on a tripleback contributed to the stagnant offense more than anything. Replacing Spencer with the ageless Tony Battie and rookie Nik Vucevic (on the road) didn't help.

According to Basketball Value, the Sixers offense has actually been more efficient this season with Hawes on the bench. (Offensive rating with Hawes = 102, Offensive rating without Hawes = 112) These aren't intended to falsify the idea that Spencer is important to the offense, just something to think about. The separate ratings should not be viewed in a vacuum either, because it isn't as simple as saying "Team A is better when Player X is off the court, therefore Player X must suck." Variables such as Spencer playing the majority of his minutes with Jodie Meeks and Elton Brand (two of the Sixers least effective players this season) rather than Thaddeus Young (the highest adjusted +/-) and the rest of the night shift play into the numbers.

The offense was also more efficient with Spencer on the bench last season, and he was still the same passer he is today.

While Spencer is important to the offense and the team as a whole, and playing out of his mind this season, let's not go overboard.

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