Hawes' addition pays dividends

CLEVELAND -- When the Cleveland Cavaliers sent Earl Clark, Henry Sims and a pair of second-round draft picks to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for 7-foot-1 center Spencer Hawes at the NBA trade deadline, the front office knew it was getting an offensive force.

However, they have been pleasantly surprised by the way the Hawes has adjusted to the team, and been as much of a contributing factor on the glass as he has been since the trade.

Hawes has averaged 14 points and 10.4 rebounds, shot 45.2 percent from the field and 47.4 percent from three-point range. He scored 13 points and grabbed 16 rebounds Friday night's 99-79 win over the Utah Jazz at Quicken Loans Arena.

"I knew coming into the situation, coming in at the deadline, there was no time to waste," Hawes said. "We've kind of continued to emphasize that since I've been here, that's there's no time to waste trying to get acclimated and trying to get comfortable.

"We jumped right in and will see what we can get out of it. The guys have been great. They've really helped me out, on and off the court in getting me adjusted. Hopefully, it continues to pay dividends."

And those dividends have not gone unnoticed by Cleveland's coaching staff.

"Spence played 37 minutes, and had 16 rebounds and most people don't necessarily look at him as a rebounder," Brown said. "He's more of an effort guy. He understands how to use his length and he goes after it. For him to get a double-double was a big night."

Since the trade with the 76ers, the Cavaliers have averaged 96 points per game, scored 114 against an Oklahoma City Thunder team that has the second-best record in the NBA and won two games in a three-day span.

According to Brown, Hawes has had a major influence on the offense's increased production.

"The reality of it is, Spencer Hawes, he's a space guy," Brown said. "He can shoot threes. He can pass the basketball. Now, when he's out on the floor with a rowing big, the paint is wide. Now, if a guy's getting denied, when he cuts backdoor, he's going to cut hard because he knows he's going to get it.

"If the ball's in Spencer's hands, he's going to deliver on time, on target. In Oklahoma City, he might not have had a ton of assists, but if I was tracking hockey assists, he probably would've led the team because he hit guys backdoor, Kyrie (Irving) a couple times, and boom, he made the next pass.

"We want to attack and fast break. If the fast break's not there, we want to come up and try to play double drag and pick-and-roll or single drag and pick-and-roll. If that's not there, we want to flow into our early offense, which gets the ball moving from side to side. If that's not there, maybe we'll go into a play call, but our progression has been the same. The stuff that we still work on offensively, we were working on a month ago. We're probably better at it now, and we have a unique big that has a skillset that helps space the floor, open the floor for the guys that are able to drive and kick, or cut backdoor."


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