2012 NBA Playoffs: Sixers Need Steady Play from Hawes, Allen to Win Series

Karthik TadisinaSenior Writer IMay 7, 2012

Spencer Hawes.
Spencer Hawes.Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

The Philadelphia 76ers may be a young team learning how to win in the postseason, but head coach Doug Collins has to be proud with the way his club has played together in its three wins so far.

When the Sixers are able to get steady performances from center Spencer Hawes and power forward/center Lavoy Allen, they are even tougher to defeat.

The 76ers defeated the Chicago Bulls 89-82 Sunday afternoon to take a 3-1 series lead into Game 5, which will be played in Chicago.

The Bulls lost point guard Derrick Rose to a torn ACL in Game 1 of the series and played without starting center Joakim Noah during Sunday’s loss due to a sprained ankle, making things very difficult for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.

However, the young 76ers have been able to take advantage of the situation and will now have task of trying to close out the series with a win on the road.

The 76ers have been getting great play from different players on a nightly basis. In Game 1 veteran forward Elton Brand (19 points) and point guard Jrue Holiday (16 points) led the way in a losing effort.

In Game 2 the 76ers had six players (Brand, Andre Iguodala, Holiday, Allen, Louis Williams and Evan Turner) score in double figures, with Holiday leading the way with 26 points. Rookie Lavoy Allen put up an impressive effort by scoring 11 points and grabbing nine rebounds in 26 minutes of playing time.

In Game 3 center Spencer Hawes stepped up and made his presence felt in the frontcourt, scoring 21 points and grabbing nine rebounds. Hawes struggled in Game 2 scoring the basketball and Allen picked up the slack. The 76ers needed big play in the middle with Brand struggling in this game, and Hawes responded.

The play of Hawes and Allen is very important for the 76ers as it makes their shooters on the perimeter even more dangerous. Defenses will have to choose whether to double-team and leave a player out on the three-point line or to guard the perimeter closely, leaving the interior uncovered.