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Unfair to compare: Spencer Hawes' first season in Charlotte left much to be desired

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Much was expected of Spencer Hawes when the Charlotte Hornets acquired the big man to hopefully fill in the 'Josh McRoberts' role they had previously had success with. Unfortunately, Hawes was unable to fill that role, which is not entirely fair to him.

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

When the Charlotte Hornets acquired Spencer Hawes last offseason, they did so in hopes of getting the Hawes that showed up for the Sixers and Cavaliers from 2011 to 2014, not the Hawes that struggled to fit with the Clippers from the previous season. Additionally, they hoped that Hawes would be able to fill a unique hole on the roster - the 'Josh McRoberts' hole. While a bit unfair to Hawes, he was unable to recapture the magic that 'McBob' brought during the 2013-2014 season. Hawes found other ways to contribute, but ultimate, this season turned into a forgettable one for the center.

2013-14 Josh McRoberts vs. 2015-16 Spencer Hawes

Josh McRoberts

Player

Spencer Hawes

2013-14

Season

2015-16

78

G

57

30.3

MP

18.2

3.2

FG

2.2

7.3

FGA

5.4

0.436

FG%

0.405

1.3

3P

0.7

3.7

3PA

1.8

0.361

3P%

0.373

0.529

eFG%

0.467

0.8

FT

0.9

1.1

FTA

1.1

0.729

FT%

0.831

1.1

ORB

0.9

3.7

DRB

3.4

4.8

TRB

4.3

4.3

AST

1.9

0.7

STL

0.4

0.6

BLK

0.5

1.1

TOV

1

2.4

PF

1.9

8.5

PTS

6

McRoberts (2013-14)

Hawes (2015-16)

Above, one can find the stats are shot charts for both Hawes last season and McRoberts during his breakout season in 2013-14. While both do amicable jobs as serviceable big man all teams need, when the question is asked 'Did Hawes take over as coach Steve Clifford's new Josh McRoberts,' the answer is undoubtedly no. This was a bit unfair to Hawes, who has never averaged more than 3.0 assists in one season (for what it's worth - the 4.3 assists McRoberts averaged that season was a major outlier in his career. His next highest average assist total in one season in just 2.1) and has never been much of point forward in his career, at least not to the degree McRoberts was. Hawes had always been a big man with some outside touch, which is what he proved to be this season.

This is not to say Hawes did not have success this season - he proved to be deadly on left-corner and top-right 3-pointers, and did manage to put former Hornet Bismack Biyombo on a poster.

He also managed to show spurts of "McBob-ness" within the offense.

But overall, Hawes did not show a great amount, be it because of limited play time or injuries. If one was feeling particularly pessimistic about Hawes' season, they could make the argument that the biggest contribution that Hawes made on the court was deciding what hairstyle Jeremy Lin would wear that night.

Hawes did start playing better near the end of the season and particularly in the playoff series against the Miami Heat before injuries forced him to miss games 6 and 7, but as a whole, the Hornets and Hawes would probably agree that he showed more of the Clippers' Hawes than the Sixers or Cavaliers' Hawes.

Moving forward

This all not just to say that Hawes is not at all in the Hornets' plans moving forward. He is one of a handful of players under contract next season, has a player option for the 2017-18 season and has shown that he can fit in just fine in Charlotte's new 3-point-focused offensive scheme. He even proved that he could be the team's muscle inside when called upon.

Though it will most likely continue in a bench role, it is hard to see Spencer Hawes not suiting up his man bun in purple and teal come the start of next season.