Kings Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

November 3, 2009
A more physical Hawes is a welcome sight

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Many of you might have learned via Sam Amick's Twitter account (more than would have learned from mine since I have way fewer followers than he does) that he hears Spencer Hawes will start at center tomorrow night when the Kings host the Atlanta Hawks.

Kings coach Paul Westphal was mum as to whether Hawes would start tomorrow. After Hawes impressive stat line Monday night (21 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists) it seemed logical Westphal would replace Sean May with Hawes in the starting lineup.

Monday night Westphal said he'd sleep on a decision, which he did.

But he still didn't want to reveal his decision after today's practice.

"It will be announced at the appropriate time unless you can tell me Atlanta doesn't read the paper and watch the Internet," Westphal said. "Why should I tell them?"

Well, for Westphal's sake, here's to hoping none of the Hawks read The Sacramento Bee or follow Sam or myself on Twitter.

As for what Hawes has done to improve his game at this early stage of the season, Westphal didn't mind chatting about that topic.

First thing, no one is asking Hawes to be he second coming of Bill Laimbeer, Rick Mahorn or any other Bad Boy from the Detroit Pistons of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Sure, Hawes bulked up in the offseason. But no one wants him to ignore his skilled game.

"I think that what we want from Spencer is to maximize who he is," Westphal said. "We're not asking him to be some kind of an enforcer, but he needs to be a physical presence, both offensively and defensively."

Last night Hawes did that without knocking anyone's teeth out.

"One thing I was really excited about and we've been emphasizing is he really set some good screens and he held them," Westphal said. "That's been an adjustment we've asked him to make and he's made ... He's concentrating on making contact on the boards, he's doing a better job with that. Sometimes he would go to the boards but not go to his man to box him out. He's doing better on that."

--Jason Jones

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