Apr 10, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Spencer Hawes (00) is defended by Atlanta Hawks forward Ivan Johnson (44) during the fourth quarter at the Wells Fargo Center. The Hawks defeated the Sixers 124-101. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Huskies In The NBA: Spencer Hawes

April 15, 2013; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Spencer Hawes (00) shoots over Detroit Pistons power forward Jonas Jerebko (33) during the first quarter at The Palace. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Grade: B+

Statistics: 27.2 minutes, 11.0 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.4 blocks per game

Now in his sixth season in the league, Spencer Hawes is finally coming into his own. Many thought he left Washington prematurely after spending just one season as a Husky. Those opinions may have been granted, but Hawes is trying to change those minds, both by standing up for Seattle in Sonicsgate and by performing in the NBA.

Statistically, the only season that matches up with this past one is his sophomore campaign with the Kings, when he averaged similar numbers. Hawes didn’t start every games this season, but for the first time in his career, he played in every one. After starting 81 games in 2010-2011, he was plagued by injury last season and lost a consistent starting spot. He eventually regained that and started 40 of 82 games for the 76ers this season.

Despite only starting in about half the Sixers’ games, Hawes averaged the second-most minutes of his career, with 27.2 per game. The increased playing time led to more consistency and better numbers from Hawes. As his offense improved, so did his defense. In a league with few true centers, Hawes is able to use both his size and athleticism to average more than a block a game.

While he may seem like an experienced veteran by now, Hawes is still only 25, after entering the league when he was 19. Among centers 25 and under, Hawes was seventh in points per game this season. After a nonchalant start his career, it looks like the Seattleite is poised to do big things in his next six seasons.

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