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.)