The Speights Question


About 80 minutes before tonight's game against the San Antonio Spurs, 76ers head coach Tony DiLeo watched as rookie Marreese Speights shot around. Once Speights finished, DiLeo called over Speights and the two had a quick chat.

The conversation seemed appropriate considering Speights didn't play last night against the Dallas Mavericks. Speights had been steadily contributing. A few minutes later, I spoke with DiLeo who said the reason Speights didn't play was simple: He didn't see a good spot to put him in the game. Thad Young was playing well on Dirk Nowitzki (until the fourth quarter, as we all remember).

DiLeo said he wanted to have a short conversation with Speights to emphasize that the DNP (did not play) had nothing to do with how Speights' had been producing. It was a smart move on DiLeo's part, because occasionally rookies can get buried by games like that. With DiLeo taking the time to talk to Speights, it likely avoids any hangover from the DNP.

Look for Speights to get considerable minutes tonight. (For him that's more than 12 minutes.)

Tonight is the last game of this five-game road trip and six-games on the road (the Boston game doesn't count as part of this swing, or so they tell me). Nothing has been too surprising so far. Sixers are 1-4 including the Boston game, 1-3 without it. A win tonight isn't likely, given the Spurs (21-11) are again one of the best teams in the Western Conference.

But would a win tonight make this a successful road trip? You would have to say 'Yes.' Considering every team except the Los Angeles Clippers were strong Western Conference teams ... on their home court. But, again, my prediction is a strong showing, but eventually a double-digit Spurs' win.


p.s. Your Comcast team well before tip off for tonight's game.