Speights activated; Marbury deactived


We're about 45 minutes from the tip of the 76ers second game of the season, this one against the New York Knicks.

The big news coming out of the Wachovia Center is that new Knicks head coach Mike D'Antoni placed Knicks star point guard (well, he used to be their star point guard) Stephon Marbury on the Inactive List. D'Antoni's reasoning: He just didn't have enough minutes for Marbury, and the minutes he did have, he thought might insult the $22 million/year guard.

Marbury was chillin' in the Knicks locker room before the game. And I say "chillin'" because that's what he was doing. He was dressed in black converse sneaks, jeans, and what looked like a cowboy button down. (Great details, I know.) He was talkative and upbeat.

D'Antoni said he and Marbury came to the conclusion, together, that Marbury should be inactive. Said D'Antoni: "Until something changes, he'll be inactive."

From the Sixers locker room: Marreese Speights is active for tonight's game, Theo Ratliff is inactive.

Sixers head coach Maurice Cheeks said the Knicks' size and quickness (smaller and faster than Toronto) was the reason for the swap.

I spoke with Speights a few minutes ago. Speights said he "wanted to play the first game."

Added Speights: "I'm anxious to get out there."

Speights learned he would be active tonight not from Cheeks, but from an assistant coach. Ever the well-spoken rookie, Speights said he did learn about the speed of a regular-season NBA game from watching the season opener against the Raptors.

Tonight's game should be high scoring. Both the Knicks (with run-and-gun D'Antoni in charge now) and the Sixers want to push the ball in transition.

"I don't mind it being a high-scoring game," Cheeks said. "As long as we score more."

Ahhhhhh ... Isn't this always the case?


post-script: I think the Phillies hysteria is officially over. We've been laying low, letting the crazy storm pass. Has it passed? Did it pass with today's city-wide party? Starting Monday (because I keep forgetting we can't do Live Chats on the weekend), we will attempt to return Deep Sixer to its previous glory (this statement humored me).

Photo: That's Mike D'Antoni on the Knicks bench with Italian superstar, and Knicks top draft pick, Danilo Gallinari.