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Spencer Hawes hasn't been the player the Clippers expected him to be

Spencer Hawes is averaging 5.8 points and 3.6 rebounds per game, the lowest averages since his rookie season

That Spencer Hawes has had a poor season in almost every way isn't something the Clippers reserve center is hiding from.

Hawes was honest when asked to evaluate his substandard play.

"It's been bad," he said. "There's no other way to put it. You just can't let it defeat you when you go through the low stretches."

Hawes was the Clippers' big free-agent signing last summer, as he was given a four-year, $23-million deal.

He was expected to be the quality big man the Clippers lacked over the years. He was expected to fill a void as the backup behind center DeAndre Jordan and as a shooter who could spread the floor from three-point range when Hawes replaced power forward Blake Griffin on the floor.

But Hawes hasn't been that player.

He's averaging 5.8 points per game, the lowest since his rookie year, and 3.6 rebounds, also the lowest since his first year in the NBA.

He's shooting just 38.8% from the field, the lowest of his career.

In his first seven years in the NBA, Hawes shot 36.1% from three-point range. With the Clippers, he's shooting just 31% from there.

"Obviously I thought the adjustment would be easier," Hawes said. "It didn't really shake out the way I thought it was going to go, how I hoped it would go."

Hawes admits it has been a trying season, but hopes that when the playoffs start this weekend that his game improves.

"Obviously when you go through a season like this, it tests you," he said. "But at the same time, you've just got to stay ready, handle what you can control. You go around enough times, odds are enough guys experience a little bit of this. You have been through this before. I'm lucky that that's the case. You keep doing what you do and just be ready for when the time comes."

Seeking better bench play

Other than super-sub Jamal Crawford, the Clippers' reserves have had an uneven season.

Still, Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said he could see himself playing "eight, nine, 10" players in the playoffs.

"Usually during the playoffs, most of us [coaches] mix and match," Rivers said. "You usually keep a starter or two on the floor at all times. It'll be no different this year."

broderick.turner@latimes.com

Twitter: @BA_Turner

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