Posted by: natehughart | September 18, 2009

Spencer Hawes is a Republican: Run for the hills citizens (unless you live in Seattle and then you’re just SOL)

It’s almost funny that I always think of Spencer Hawes as 2 different separate entities rather than one entity with multiple personalities. After all, I focus on Hawes being Republican too much. (Sort of like I believe not having a stupid ex-cheerleader being Veeper is probably a good thing when you’re dealing with the rest of the world that values intelligence. Just because, after all, Americans are stupid doesn’t mean the rest of the world finds this acceptable.)

Anyway, and I’ll admit I have to listen to this stupid Sarah Pelin commercial because I listen to Jack FM Seattle (You can listen to it: It’s called Portage Bay Cafe. Their slogan is: We serve from the left, and clean up from the right. If only the rest of Seattle functioned that well. Ha!) consistently, and this accounts for my nuttiness. (Positively.) Anyway, the point here is that Hawes political opinions aside (the fact they’re irrelevent makes no nevermind; most athletes have pointless and totally wacked out political views, if they even have any, and none of this even begin to mentions someone like Paul Westphal who is friends with Rush Limbaugh Happy Pills) is that Shawes is a basketball player first & foremost. I don’t watch Spencer Hawes the Republican play basketball. He has real basketball skills. The fact that he’s a Republican is just bad luck for me as a Kings fan. (I’m pretty sure it would be worse if he was a Democrat. But, I digress. At least with being a Republican he’s predictable.)

Hawes is at an important stage of his career by any real account. Unlike Martin, he’s in year 3 and hasn’t shown what Martin had by the end of year 2. That isn’t Hawes fault really; Martin’s 2nd season was helped greatly by playing for a real NBA coach in Rick Adelman, and by benefiting greatly from the energy surge the city felt when Bonzi & Ron-Ron ball coincided for the short time.

Then Eric Musselman came, Martin still did well despite the rest of the roster going to complete crap simultaneously. (That season of SpeedRacer’s will never get enough appreciation I swear.) Hawes, though, is on a different trajectory of all that.

In Hawes’ first season he was hurt some, played a little after February, had a pretty good game against the Lakers in LA where he screamed a little bit (I’m sure Mikki Moore told him to do that because he would be far better served selling his personal brand that way). During his 2nd season was where the adventures of Spencer Hawes really started.

Hawes shot a lot of 3’s. He played PF next to Brad Miller. He played exclusively down low. He played for Reggie Theus and Kenny Natt in the same season. (This is not a magical elixir for players looking to improve their stock.) What we do know is that Spencer Hawes can play basketball.

What we DO NOT know is how well Spencer Hawes can play. Or, to be more precise I suppose since accuracy is usually what bloggers have to strive for (since all we’re good for is spreading rumors and using the internet too often from our mother’s basement and all), how Hawes performs consistently is the real measuring stick.

Whether he averages what he did last season, or not, will probably be the definition of progress. After all, 11 & 7 probably won’t be acceptable given that Hawes is slated to be the first string C coming into camp and all season long. Brad Miller did that on his bad days consistently, and I think Miller’s stay towards the end is more accurately summed up in this statement “7 foot pile of dung”. Yuh? You think?

The point is that it’s not just Hawes numbers that people will be looking at, but also the way in which he achieves them. One of the criticisms is that Hawes doesn’t rebound enough (very true), but a lost criticism is how low the shooting% Hawes had last season. At 46% for a shooter of his caliber, that’s extremely low.

(A big focus for Hawes has been that he also gets to the line very infrequently. That will have to change as well.)

Then there was the majestic game of Hawes where he managed to grab 0 boards vs Atlanta. I really loved that one. (To be fair, Brad Miller can’t be blamed for that.)

Hawes has shown ability at times, and has shown at times to be inconsistent. Of any player coming into this season, Hawes is the major target for both the organization, and (it should be but some won’t bother to focus on this) the fans end. For the organization’s part, I do believe they know this and will be grading him shortly. It’s partly why Geoff Petrie and Paul Westphal squawked so loudly when they heard Hawes wasn’t coming to the Vegas Summer League. They knew it wasn’t important whether Hawes played or not; it turned out to be probably a good thing in fact. The problem was that Hawes has a history of being out-spoken and being his own man. When you’re a 11 & 7 player shooting 46% it’s not tolerated in the NBA. When you’re Chris Webber, or somebody like that, the franchise will ignore it.

(Or, as Kevin Costner told Tim Robbins in Bull Durham: When you win 20 games in the Show with shit on your shower shoes, than the press will call you colorful. Until you win 20 in the Show, however, it just means you’re a slob.)

I’m not the first to say this. Hell, I’m not going to be the last if Hawes keeps it up. Recently, though, there was good development in Hawes mental midgetry in that Hawes showed up in Sacramento earlier this month to work out with teammates.

What does that mean? I have no idea.

So I’d like to number fuck Hawes and pigeonhole him into numbers that should represent progress: 15 & 9 on 51% shooting. (4 FT attempts would be nice while I’m at it.)

I don’t ask much, but I do ask for improvement. (On the other hand, I demand absolute perfection! Dammit! I know it’s asking too much of a young Republican….)

Oh, and are you wondering if that’s a dig at Hawes being a Republican? Absolutely. But, I have no hope for them. So, that’s that. (Unless you live on a hill in Seattle. Then, you’re just Shit outta Luck. Oh well….)


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