But will Hawkins be among the starting five tonight at the Spectrum when the Sixers begin to scale the Everest of an 0-2 deficit in this best-of-five playoff series?
"Without question," Lynam said.
Never a doubt.
If the coach's temporary indecision affected Hawkins, it wasn't apparent. The rookie wasn't even aware that there might be a chair on the bench with his name on it.
"All I can do is take the shots when they give them to me, and the coaches have to make the decision if they want to take me out," Hawkins said.
"I've been taking the shots, but what I haven't been doing is taking it to the basket and making the outside shot more available for myself. (Tonight,) I will look to create more for myself. Hopefully, it will make them play me a little more honestly."
Hawkins has gone through a few similar slumps this season. He was 5 for 24 in a pair of back-to-back road games in December, and 5 for 23 in consecutive home games later that month.
But in the second half of the season, Hawkins' bad streaks rarely lasted more than one game. The final month of the schedule was his most consistent stretch of the regular season.
In the last four weeks, he shot 120 for 228 (53 percent) from the floor, raising his season shooting average from 43.3 percent to 45.5 percent - a healthy jump for someone who had already taken more than 700 shots.
Whatever confidence was built during that period, however, was damaged by the first two playoff games against New York.
Not since his senior year at Bradley, when he was the nation's scoring leader with a 36.3-point average, has Hawkins remembered going through such a slump at such an important time.
"And I think I averaged 24 a game (in that slump)," Hawkins said. "I realize this is playoff time and you have to put people in that are going to produce for you. So, if I'm not doing the job, somebody else should be in doing the job."
Hawkins, trying to prevent that "somebody" from pushing him to the bench, came to practice early yesterday and stayed late, shooting jumpers and regaining his acquaintance with the basket.
"I started missing some shots and then I started to doubt myself about whether I should take the next one," Hawkins said. "I've got to take those shots no matter what the situation is. I've been relaxed out there. I just haven't been hitting. I feel comfortable shooting it now. All I have to do is execute in the game. I need to be more selfish; maybe one time I should take a crazy shot. At least I'd be aggressive."
Lynam, in viewing the tape, saw a great improvement between the first and second game for Hawkins.
"In the first game, he was tentative and I told him that," Lynam said. ''But he was looking for his shot. They didn't go in, however."
And how did Hawkins shoot during practice yesterday?
"To be honest, I didn't pay particular notice," Lynam said.
Now, that's confidence.
The Knicks practiced yesterday before taking a bus ride to Philadelphia. They will be attempting tonight to become the first team ever to sweep a playoff series from the 76ers.
"I don't know if it will be a sweep," said center Patrick Ewing, "but there won't be a fifth game."
Ewing has not been an overpowering factor in the series thus far, scoring an average of 21.5 points.
"The first half (of Game 3) will be important," coach Rick Pitino said. ''We've got to keep the crowd quiet and out of the game. The Sixers have to feel good about being home because they played us tough at our place twice."
A strong game by the Knicks might incite the crowd more than quiet it, if the expectation of a strong influx of New York ticket buyers is accurate.
Word spread quickly through the New York area yesterday that tickets were readily available for tonight's game.
Lynam had two main objectives he wanted to get across in practice yesterday.
"Emotionally, I wanted us to regroup after two tough losses, the second particularly. And the second thing is that we want to remember that there's no guarantee just because we're going to friendlier confines that things will be easier. We have to come out with the same mindset," Lynam said.
On Saturday, the Knicks' bench outscored the Sixers' for just the second time in eight games this season. If, based on minutes played, you consider Ron Anderson a starter, then the numbers are more one-sided. Giving Anderson's points to the starters and Derek Smith's to the bench, the Knicks' bench has outscored the Sixers' 52-23 in the series.