Speights has work to do

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Sixers coach Doug Collins said not getting the best out of Marreese Speights was his "biggest failure" last season. (Wilfredo Lee/AP Photo)

Heard an interesting comment by one of the Washington writers concerning the Marreese Speights. Turns out the writer was in Las Vegas for the summer league a few years back when Speights and JaVale McGee, the Wizards ultra-athletic center, were vying for draft positions prior to the 2008 draft.

His words: “Every time I looked up Speights was having his way against JaVale,” he said, at one point mimicking a baseline dunk Speights threw down over the runner-up in last February’s dunk contest. “He was killing him. I wonder what happened to him?”

McGee hasn’t set the world on fire but the 18th pick in that draft has established himself as the team’s starter. Meanwhile, Speights, drafted two places ahead of McGee, has to shed some weight quickly if he’s going to be a viable reserve for the Sixers. He’s also got to be able to provide some defense because he really is a talented offensive player.

Elton Brand paid him that same compliment earlier in the preseason. It will be interesting to see if Speights will rebound and play defense, not his strong point. If he does he might get himself some minutes and get the chance to show what he can do for stretches. Hope he does and doesn’t waste his talents – or let them blossom somewhere else.

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The Sixers having a free, open scrimmage at the venerated Palestra on Sunday is a nice touch.

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Take out Andre Iguodala’s 0-for-7 performance against the Wizards and the Sixers starters combined to make 19 of 29 field goals.

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