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Credit Is Due

Good post. The numbers really back up your observations.

I have to admit I was one of those that ranted and raved against DiLeo when Speights got those DNP-CD's. I was concerned that DiLeo was grasping at straws to try and get a victory while the team was reeling on the road trip.

Whatever DiLeo's reasoning, it clearly has paid off with renewed from Speights. I am hoping he can continue to earn more minutes. 20 min/game sounds about right from here on in- even after Brand returns.

There were questions about Speights focus and conditioning before he was drafted. He has put the conditioning questions behind him, and the baby fat was gone by draft day. Hopefully, with coaches and teammates keeping on him, he will pick up on Brand and Evans work ethic to go with Speights' skill and good old nasty streak.

Conditioning is never an issue with this team. Gotta love that, because they have a couple of guys who were never really in shape on other teams (Evans/Miller).

I believe I stated in another post a week ago that I was hoping that Speights would start as center, replacing Sammy, when Elton Brand gets back. He is young but still a way smarter player then Sammy will ever be and a way better shooter but we do loose the shot blocking and rebounding. Even with that though I think the starters of Speights and Elton with Theo and Reggie coming off the bench makes us a much smarter and overall effective team. I try to route for Sammy but he has been in the league way too long to look worse then some rookies at times. I also think, and hope, that as the season goes on so does Speights skills and understanding of the league. I really like the young trio and scoring potential of Young, Speights and Sweet Lou (I know alot of you hate on Lou, but I will continue to support him, what can I say I like the guy's game).

I'm pretty Sammy will be starting until he's traded, or until the trading deadline, at the very least.

If Speights isn't starting now I see no reason he'd be starting 'as soon as' Brand gets back. Speights is better (to me) than Sam is right now - more consistently - and probably should have been starting a few weeks ago but when you listen to Sam speak to the media, in his quotes, I can a 'benching' making him more useless than he already is and that massaging his ego until they can trade him is going to keep Speights out of the starting line up. Which is fine for now - matters more who's in at the end than the beginning and Sams minutes seem to be going down - regardless of whether he starts or not.

4th quarter minutes are huge for young guys. Completely agree.

john reply to Brian on Jan 14 at 13:02

I think 4th quarter minutes are huge period in terms of 'who is important' - someone smarter than me once said - it's not who's on the court when the game starts it's who's on the court when the game ends. Those are the 'important' pieces.

I'm also a fan of the guil-Lou-tine. Love to watch him carve up opposing defenses. The team has great 24 and under talent (don't leave Iguodala out of the mix.)

Lou has been much better since they stopped asking to be a point and just let him be Lou.

john reply to Brian on Jan 14 at 13:02

Yeah, about damn time :)

Bart reply to Brian on Jan 14 at 13:38

Absolutely right.

While Speights has performed well I think starting him over Sammy at this point would be premature. Having Speights, Williams, and soon Young part of the second unit gives the team a major boost in energy off the bench. Speight's has a long way to go in terms of playing defense, making the proper rotation, and being consistent on a game after game basis. Even when Sammy doesn't score he's good for 7-10 rebounds and a few blocked shots. With Brand returning Sammy role in the offense will be alley oops and put backs. That is all we need from him. Yeah, he has a bad contract but it is what it is. Too many have forgotten about the long list of horrible big men this has had since Moses Malone. Sammy isn't close to being near the bottom of the bunch. As for Speights, the moon is his limit. I'm excited about his future as a Sixer.

I think he could start right now, but he doesn't need to start and I'm actually happy with the minutes he's playing. If they move Sammy, Sp8s can slide right in and the team may be better for it in the long run, but there's no need to rush it. He definitely needs to show he can keep this level of effort up.

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