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Feelings On Marreese Speights

toughest call on the team by a longshot. i feel like there's no way he won't be in the nba for 10 years, but he may only be a valuable asset when he's an old man who realizes what he needs to do to win games...

Another young piece i hope gets traded when the Larry Brown regime takes over. Any one else whats to see the Sixers package our trio of defensive liabilities (Lou, Speights, and Thad) with our expiring veteran contracts to bring in the veteran help that can turn this team around. that can help this team?

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sfw reply to chucky on Apr 28 at 9:00
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Lou & Speights, yes but I'd like to see Thad get some good coaching.

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Ducth reply to sfw on Apr 28 at 13:14
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Ditto. I'd move Lou and Marreese, but keep Thad around to see what some decent, non-Ayers, non-EFJ coaching can do for him.

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JohnEMagee reply to Ducth on Apr 28 at 13:36
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I wouldn't move speights just yet - either he improves this off season or he is the same thing next season - either way his trade value doesn't grow - he's still young - he still has a chance to improve and show he wants to succeed

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deepsixersuede on Apr 28 at 7:40
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I would of loved to be a fly on the wall at his end of year meeting; hopefully they challenged him to hit the gym and lose some weight. He and Sam better be given a chance by our new coach next year because he could be "Z.Randolph #2" .

Speights should go while he still has that potential/value. He doesn't make good decisions on offense or defense. I believe the reason he didn't play with Sammy was they both have low basketball IQ's and do not make good deciaions on the court. He must be told specifically what to do and held accountable for it(As you said the coach did not do that this year and he was horrible).

I do agree Brian, you must get some value for him.

“If you score the ball, you play. Period."

Why do so many people say…score the ball…?
Just say score, “score the ball” is redundant and sounds stupid, the ball is the only thing you can score…

the ball is the only thing you can score

Tell that to Wilt.

There are very few (any?) in the 20k/20k/20k club (points, rebounds, women).

Are you suggesting Speights put more work in off the court, a la Wilt? The man was in tremendous shape- played over 48 minutes a game one year. Must have been due to excellent conditioning.

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Charlie Ace reply to Terry on Apr 28 at 14:26
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Thanks, I really hate that phrase. Makes no sense. How about "score"?

The ball is not the only thing you can score - it's not even something you can score. You can score points.

Did Hubie Brown start this?

Fine, it's fixed. I often wonder why people get fixated on certain things, but ignore the terrible errors I make, like "if you can use him to get either move a bad contract or accumulate an asset..."

That one's fixed too, so there.

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Tom Moore on Apr 28 at 10:01
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Speights really needs to be pushed. He almost never works out after practice and gained weight at an alarming rate during the month he was injured. He really needs to get stronger and improve his rebounding. If Brown comes here, Speights will have to defend or he won't play.

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JohnEMagee reply to Tom Moore on Apr 28 at 10:39
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Speights needs to push himself...why is it the teams fault he's lazy in the off season and works on nothing - or that he got fatter when he got injured...if a player is inherently lazy there's nothing the team can do unless they're willing to do something themselves.

Well, there is something the team can do. They can require certain things of their players, if they don't put the work in they can bench them, fine them, not pick up their options. The worst thing you can do for an inherently lazy player is have no accountability, he still may not work or reach his potential even if the team/coach does lay down the law, but it's guaranteed that he won't without proper motivation (in the form of playing time and probably more importantly, dollars).

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JohnEMagee reply to Brian on Apr 28 at 10:48
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I'm not fully ready to give up on him (and i've run out of negative terms to use to describe my feelings towards the players - when do we get to the good ones?)...he's still got this off season, but again, if a guy in the NBA isn't motivated by himself to maximize his talent, then that's why so many busts happen, work ethic and motivation, which was the concern with Speights coming into the league...I expect the sixers have made it clear to him (i would hope) what's expected this off season, but if the new coach likes that he can score (and do nothing else) he'll get minutes.

I want to see him healthy, with a real coach through training camp. At this point, he was a non-factor under Cheeks (who was under fire), then DiLeo put him in the doghouse when he was pushing for the playoffs, then he had Jordan the buffoon for a full season. I don't know if he's going to amount to anything, hopefully some stability would give us at least some idea of what to expect.

Now, am I convinced he'll get that chance this year? Absolutely not. I have no confidence in this circus of a franchise right now.

It does not help that he is on track to be like Sam- who will be on his 8th coach in as many years.

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JohnEMagee reply to Brian on Apr 28 at 11:07
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He was fully healthy to start the season before his knee and he didn't exactly show much improvement in his weaknesses from his rookie season

Are you sure about that? I though he was off to a really good start before his injury?

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JohnEMagee reply to tk76 on Apr 28 at 11:29
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If you only consider scoring i'm sure he was off to a good start if you consider passing, rebounding and defense, than not so much.

Brian, yes i heard tale of 'better' effort from him when the games mattered less, but that's just small smaple size to me...we'll see where he is come next season

Odd, considering the defensive clinic Eddie Jordan put the team through in training camp and value he placed on defense on the court, huh? :)

I do think he was putting more effort in on the defensive end at the end of the year. I'm not a big fan of bigs who constantly try to draw charges, but that's an improvement over bigs who constantly do nothing on the defensive end.

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Tom Moore on Apr 28 at 10:03
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Did you see that Jordan has pulled out of consideration for the Rutgers job? According to the Times of Trenton, Jordan called Tuesday to say "he still wanted to pursue options in the NBA."

He can't really believe there's still a market out there for him in the NBA, can he?

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Tom Moore reply to Brian on Apr 28 at 10:28
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I can't imagine there is, but I think he also knows if he's out of the league for two years it'll be that much more difficult to get back into the NBA. He'd have to be an assistant to have a chance to stay.

Maybe the Nets mafia will take pity on him. Maybe Byron Scott gets hired somewhere and brings him on as an assistant.

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JohnEMagee reply to Brian on Apr 28 at 10:39
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No, but Rutgers probably laughed in his face about the job after actually hearing him speak and he's saving face...

A couple of quick observations about Speights' play this year, one positive and one negative. The positive: his overall and defensive rebounding rates improved this year, to the point of being adequate (not great) for a PF, though still below-average for a center. The negative: his injury robbed him of the desire and quickness to finish post moves, making him into primarily a jump shooter in the second half of the year. He's a good jump shooter for a PF, but if that's all he does, he goes from being an offensive force to a poor man's Chris Webber, 05-06 version (Malik Allen?).

Speights' shining moment was the team's shining moment: the 98-97 win over the Celtics in December when he was the go-to guy down the stretch, even getting the ball when they were down 1 on the last possession. From there, it was all downhill, with the 'm' in the F=ma equation getting larger and larger ...

I wanted to link to this again, because it explains perfectly the problem with bringing in LB if it is all about making the playoffs ASAP: http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/post/The-Charlotte-Bobcats-Gone-Til-November?urn=nba,237041#remaining-content

It explains the problem of bringing in Brown and giving him player personnel responsibilities. Kate Fagan reported this morning that the Sixers will contact him about coaching only. We'll see what happens there.

LB as coach and nothing more is ideal in a vacuum, but I have serious questions that he'd be able to handle that situation if Stefanski was still the GM. LB with a weak GM (or one he perceives to be weak) is a recipe for disaster.

Btw, I do agree w/ everything Dwyer said in that piece.

I wonder if the entire LB as pres thing was floated by LB's people to get the ball moving in that direction. That's how he operates, and tried a similar tactic with the Clipps and got rebuffed.

As for Speights:

Do You think there will ever be a time the light comes on and he realizes he has to work at it? He did for a few months before the draft- but now he has gotten paid. Maybe it comes on again the year before his next contract?

Is there a way to reach him? I do not think he's the type to respond well to benching and the doghouse. But I always wonder what would have happened if he was plugged into the vacant starting PF spot after the Brand went down in Speight's rookie year. Is he the type that would rise to the occasion if he was getting major positive attention for his success (on both ends.)

Would bringing in someone like DC or CWebb to work with him make things better, worse, or make no difference?

Overall, he's worth trading if he has value. But he's worth keeping if he does not.

If I recall correctly, LB was the only guy who ever really motivated DC, right?

I think he more "let DC be DC" and new what to expect from him. DC also grew up and was done looking for fights with his coaches. It was a lot easier with lower expectations.

To an extent Speights seems to have a similar attitude in that he does not respond well to punishment (benching.)

I also think they may have rushed him back becasue they were afraid to see the effect of 3 more weeks of laying around and eating chips. Better to get him on the court where at least he gets some exercise and has a few hours away from the fridge.

I remember a game earlier in the season at the Nets. The Sixers had absolutely nothing that night and Speights single-handedly won the game. They were force-feeding him the ball in crunch time and he delivered. Then Sam closed it out with defense on Lopez. I think that's the model we're looking for. Speights gave me a lot of hope with that performance.

I'm really looking for three things from Speights- Scoring, defensive rebounding, and positional defense (which we saw improvements in). I don't think he needs to be Iguodala to be extremely effective, he just needs to rebound the ball and stay focused defensively.

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JohnEMagee reply to Rich on Apr 28 at 14:14
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So Speights single handedly won it

With help

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Rich reply to JohnEMagee on Apr 28 at 18:23
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He had no real help the whole game and Sam stopped Lopez on a possession at the end of the game. Like he won it and Sam saved it (in baseball terms).

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who dat gonna win the lottery on Apr 28 at 15:39
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we have thad and speights. i believe this team can use one of them going forward. one has to stay and try to be coached, the other has to go. they both play the four. so i think that this is one of the biggest decisions this franchise has to make with its current personal. thad or speights. I fall into the speights category. he can do one thing unbelievably well, score. thad, im not just not sure of. and hes to much of a tweener. speights is a clear power forward i believe. just wondering where you guys fall on that debate, thad or speights?

If Thad is a PF, then I can see the logic. That's another huge question that needs to be answered once and for all, whether Thad can play the three regularly.

I'd like to know what kind of contract Thad will draw next year. He will have a 7.5M cap hold, which hurts their cap flexibility next summer. They might almost have to sign him to the QO, just to have an extra year to find out what he's got (but risk losing him for nothing.)

I hope we have a better sense of what he brings as a player after next season. But that's the risk when you draft a guy at 19 who is a tweener. But if they can resign him for 6th man money (like what Lou makes) he should be kept around.

Do you think there's a chance they just let him walk after this season?

No, but they could do what the Bulls did and trade him for a pick at the deadline. That way they clear his cap hold and maybe sign another good young player who fits better.

But hopefully he has a great year and this is all moot. Thad was not Princeton material last year. But that does not mean he can't bounce back.

Honestly, at worst, Thad should be a supersub. A Cedric Ceballos type who can move without the ball, score in the post against some matchups, and sometimes hit threes. I'd resign him for something a little above what Lou or KK got.

I'm not sure I'd do that. Those mid-level contracts add up. I need to see some serious forward momentum from Thad this season before I'm committing to him long term at about $5M/year.

Of course, that all depends on if he can move forward from this major step back. If he can at least get back to where he was under Mo/DiLeo, then I think he's worth Lou's deal

With all the concerns about Speights work ethic noted, the whole team needs a taskmaster. There is a very easy solution to curing his lack of voluntary work in season; make it mandatory. Set some ground rules from the beginning of the year that force certain players to need to work on aspects of their games after practice.

Players who played less than X(say 20?) minutes must participate in post-practice drilling to help instill muscle memory to get the players responding by instinct. Players under Y(say 5?) years of experience must also do the same. If you have a defensive guru, give performance marks with a series of pluses and minuses based on proper rotations, hustle plays & correct contests vs breakdowns, offensive rebounds. These report cards can be graded out after every game/scrimmage based on a per-min scale, and those who fall below a specific threshold must do post-practice work. IMO, this type of deal would go a long way toward making Speights a better defender/defensive rebounder. It might also help Lou.

BTW, Stefanski whining about Speights was another nail for me. Eddie S was bitching like a fan and not his boss. That was distasteful. So, the guy doesn't naturally want to work? Make him do it! Not hard. Pat Riley doesn't seem to have a problem with his players falling out of shape on him.

You guys make it seem like we have to get rid of him or choose between him and speights. To be honest, theres no reason to consider moving them yet until we see them with a real coach and their both on rookie contracts making like no money. Both coming off the bench would still be fine, thad exploded for a few thirty point efforts (i think) coming off the bench because he is used to playing against starters and speights does the same with a few minutes towards the end against starters or when he jumps in for dalembert who has too many fouls. Also, some of you keep saying he is a pf and so is thad, but speights almost exclusively played center unless you count him being with brand and brand being the center, which i dont. Even with jason smith on the floor I still think he played the center. What speights needs to do that thad already is good as is develop a real post game. Speights can score with nice little jump shots or real close putbacks, but thad has a great block game as well as a three point shot, at least sorta. Im pretty confident thad will get it back, he shot well initially and messed up later in the season. Id like to see if speights can extend to the three but in summer league last year i think he attempted a bunch and didnt do so well so they wanted him to stay inside. either way, if you dont worry about them gettin a ton of minutes they could be part of a pretty decent bench unit that has had alot of starter experience

I'm definitely not saying they have to get rid of either Thad or Speights. Speights has a couple cheap years left on his deal, and Thad is relatively cheap this season. This time next year, though, they're going to have to make some kind of decision on Thad. Qualifying offer, extension or nothing, they will have to make a decision.

At the same time, neither of these guys is even close to untouchable. If either (or both) can be used to move Brand's contract, or bring in either a better fitting young player or picks, then you have to take a serious look at making the move. I'd definitely be seeing what kind of market there is out there for both of them.

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Tom Moore on Apr 28 at 17:47
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Off the subject, John Langel, agent for Doug Collins, gave me a no comment Wednesday when I asked if the Sixers had contacted him about talking to Collins. Could mean Stefanski has started the process.

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Tom Moore on Apr 28 at 19:11
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Have some news: An NBA source confirmed Stefanski has contacted John Langel, the agent for Doug Collins, to set up an interview.

Ugh, no Doug Collins

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Tom Moore reply to Mike P on Apr 28 at 19:29
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Stefanski plans on contacting a bunch of folks for interviews. Collins will be one of maybe eight or 10, from the sound of things.

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Tom Moore on Apr 28 at 19:55
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Thanks, Tom. How long did they really take on the search last season? I think it was like 2 weeks from the first confirmed interview to the hiring of Jordan, right?

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Tom Moore reply to Brian on Apr 28 at 21:18
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My guess is it took three weeks, Brian.

Seems pretty clear that if Brown comes here as coach and/or GM, Stefanski will be out. Hard to imaqgine Brown working for Stefanski or vice versa. Snider should decide what's up with Brown first, then let Stefanski know.

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JohnMagee on Apr 28 at 20:57
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Doug Collins would be no worse or better than Brown in my opinion.

He'll probably wait for vinny to get fired, demand too much money and want too much power to be hired by the sixers anyway

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johnrosz on Apr 28 at 23:25
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Mike Woodson has gotten out coached and exposed by Scott Skiles thus far in that series. Do not want. I admire the fact that he was able to turn things around in ATL after being on the hot seat, but wow isn't it alarming the way they're playing against a depleted Milwaukee squad?

I still don't see how Mike Woodson would be a Larry Brown guy...

Looking at his teams' performance (especially on the defensive end) it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. I mean his teams over the years, not just this year's team.

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johnrosz reply to Brian on Apr 28 at 23:50
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This franchise has been going in circles for so long, and my gut reaction is that a Mike Woodson hiring would do nothing to change that. I think this team and its fan base needs a guy with some serious clout, I'd be ok with Collins or Brown for that very reason.

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Rich reply to Brian on Apr 29 at 0:07
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His teams don't win on the road in the playoffs either, like at all. I don't like that one bit.

Plenty of 'what-ifs' about this guy but I just don't see a guy who has the work ethic or smarts to improve to anything more than a limited, one-dimensional player. Strikes me as the type of guy who would be kept in line by either a demanding veteran superstar who was the clear leader on a team or a veteran coach who was largely unquestioned by his players. Sixers have neither at this point.

He is one guy that if the Sixers can use to make a deal happen to move salary or get a useful piece in return I am more than willing to move him. He isn't even part of the long-term solution here.


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