Walking around the Old City neighborhood of Philadelphia on Friday night, my friends and I crossed paths with a very large man with a buzz cut and beard. Considering there aren’t too many guys walking around that are seven feet tall, we realized that we had just crossed paths with none other than Spencer Hawes. I shouted him a quick, “Good win, Spencer!” and carried on with my night.
Having only seen parts of the game, I decided to check the box score to see if he’d actually played well in the win over Sacramento. Once I had a look, I almost regretted saying anything. Despite being very large and having played 25 minutes, Hawes pulled down only one rebound. While the Sixers did manage to out-rebound the Kings, it still remains an issue.
It’s been mentioned in this space before, but it’s worth repeating. Without Andrew Bynum, the Sixers have literally no one equipped to play in the low post. Hawes is a big man who prefers to play in the high post, sometimes further out, while Lavoy Allen is also more comfortable as a mid-range shooter. Both take nearly half of their shots from 16 feet and out, and are usually positioned in those areas.
That’s apparent when looking at the Sixers’ offensive rebounding numbers, where they rank 25th in the league in offensive rebounding percentage. Of the two, Allen does a better job of staying close to the rim, as indicated by his 11.1 offensive rebounding percentage, compared to Hawes’ 9.0 ORB%.
The Sixers are much stronger on the defensive glass, ranking 12th in the league in defensive rebound percentage. Again, they’re not helped much by their big men; Hawes leads the Sixers’ regulars in defensive rebounding percentage, but ranks well below the top centers in the league at just 19.4 DRB%. Lavoy Allen, who has started at center in about two-thirds of the team’s games, is weak on the glass as well, at just 15.7 percent. They are buoyed, though, by Evan Turner, perhaps the best rebounding guard in the league. His defensive rebounding percentage is nearly equal to Hawes (19.1).
Against the Magic
Orlando has been one of the strongest teams on the defensive glass all season, ranking fourth in the league in defensive rebounding percentage. They’re led by Nikola Vucevic, shipped out by the Sixers in the Bynum trade. Nik has been a beast this year, grabbing over a quarter (27.3 percent) of available defensive rebounds when he’s on the floor.
The Magic will be hurt by the absence of Glen Davis, out for the season with a foot injury. Davis had been second on the team in defensive rebounding percentage and rebounds per game, and was third among regulars in total rebounding percentage.