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Motivating Marreese

Thumbnail image for sp8s020909.jpgTime to check in on a familiar theme of this season, Marreese Speights' production. We're not talking about offensive production. He's the most-talented scoring big on the roster not currently undergoing shoulder rehab, we're talking about defensive production and rebounding.

When last we broached this subject, Tony DiLeo was yielding playing minutes as a weapon. Speights began the year hustling for boards, got lazy, got benched, and then his production bounced back. Let's take a look at the bigger picture now.

Let's split the season up according to milestones. Here are his stats:

Under Mo Cheeks
  • GAMES: 21
  • RECORD: 9-12
  • MIN/G: 13
  • REB/36 MIN: 10.1
  • BLK/36 MIN: 1.4
  • PF/36 MIN: 5.6
  • FGA/36 MIN: 15.1
Start Of DiLeo Era (up until benching @ Dallas)
  • GAMES: 8
  • RECORD: 4-4
  • MIN/G: 19
  • REB/36 MIN: 6.2
  • BLK/36 MIN: 1.1
  • PF/36 MIN: 4.5
  • FGA/36 MIN: 15.3
After Dallas Benching
  • GAMES: 8
  • RECORD: 7-1
  • MIN/G: 21
  • REB/36 MIN: 10.5
  • BLK/36 MIN: 2.8
  • PF/36 MIN: 4.4
  • FGA/36 MIN: 15.1
Backslide (Lead up to 3 MIN against Hornets)
  • GAMES: 3
  • RECORD: 1-2
  • MIN/G: 11
  • REB/36 MIN: 1.1
  • BLK/36 MIN: 1.1
  • PF/36 MIN: 4.5
  • FGA/36 MIN: 7.8
Since Hornets' Game
  • GAMES: 10
  • RECORD: 6-4
  • MIN/G: 15
  • REB/36 MIN: 9.7
  • BLK/36 MIN: 1.7
  • PF/36 MIN: 6.5
  • FGA/36 MIN: 14.7
It looks like Speights is starting to get the message. I included the FGA numbers because I wanted to see if there was a correlation to his shots and his production elsewhere. There doesn't seem to be.

The thing we have to remember about Marreese is that he's a 21 year-old rookie. There are going to be ups and downs throughout the season, and really throughout his first several seasons in the league. The important thing to note is the messages DiLeo (and his teammates) send to him, and how he responds to those messages. With a guy like him, who offense comes so easily to, it takes constant pressure to perform in the other areas of the game to avoid complacency.

The last thing I want to do, however, is make excuses for the kid. His defensive positioning needs serioius work, he's fouling way too much and there are a couple of numbers that he absolutely must improve upon.

Check this out:

  • With Sammy on the floor, the Sixers grab 73% of available defensive rebounds.
  • With Speights on the floor, the Sixers grab 64.8% of available defensive rebounds
  • With Sammy on the floor, the Sixers allow 103.1 points per 100 possessions
  • With Speights on the floor, the Sixers allow 111.6 points per 100 possessions (this number has come down from 114 since the last post, but it's still way too high)
Again, you can't even begin to consider Speights supplanting Sammy in the starting lineup until those gaps are narrowed a great deal. He's making strides, but he's still got a ton of work to do.

Since motivation isn't only about negative reinforcement, let's take a look at some of the spectacular Speights stats to finish this up.

  • 20.8 PER leads the team
  • 4.0 Win Shares is fourth
  • .572 TS% is second to only Donyell
  • Speights has attempted 21 more free throws than our starting shooting guard, in 365 fewer minutes, and is shooting 9% higher from the line than him as well.
  • The Sixers are 13-3 when Speights plays more than 20 minutes. 14-23 when he plays less than 20.

by Brian on Feb 20 2009
Tags: Basketball | Marreese Speights | Samuel Dalembert | Sixers |