76ers face first three-games-in-three-nights stretch

Guard Jrue Holiday (11) shoots over Toronto's Jose Calderon (8) on Saturday. The team next will play three straight nights.
Guard Jrue Holiday (11) shoots over Toronto's Jose Calderon (8) on Saturday. The team next will play three straight nights. (MICHAEL PEREZ / Associated Press)
Posted: January 09, 2012

The 76ers, about to play three games in a row for the first time since a lockout shortened the 1999 season to 50 games, will most likely have center Spencer Hawes with them for the stretch, according to the team.

Perhaps the biggest surprise on the surprising Sixers roster, Hawes left the team's 97-62 Saturday win over the Toronto Raptors in the third quarter when he experienced a mid-back strain. Hawes underwent treatment shortly after the game and said he would do the same again on Sunday.

Coach Doug Collins gave the Sixers (5-2) a day off on Sunday.

Hawes has been invaluable early on, averaging 12.6 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game.

The Sixers host Indiana at Wells Fargo Center on Monday, Sacramento on Tuesday, and then play at New York on Wednesday.

While they have gotten off to a tremendous start, the Sixers are not a particularly big team, and they do not have a lot of depth along the frontcourt. The Pacers are big, starting a front line of 7-foot-2 Roy Hibbert, 6-9 David West, and 6-9 Danny Granger.

If the Sixers were forced to play without Hawes, they most likely would start rookie center Nikola Vucevic in Hawes' place. In 19 minutes, 42 seconds on the court against Toronto, Vucevic finished with nine points and 10 rebounds.

Collins has talked about playing Hawes and Vucevic together in stretches.

Mondays' game is the third of four straight home games for the Sixers and their third game in four nights. They are in a stretch where they will play seven games in nine nights.


Contact staff writer John N. Mitchell at jmitchell@philly.com or @deepsixer3 on Twitter.

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