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Early Predictions: Marreese Speights

Ok, so now it's official, i don't like Hawes minutes cause his total is less than Speights :)

So you think a 60:40 split C:PF for his minutes (you had 900 at center, so 600 at PF?)

I haven't fully given up hope that Speights will find that switch and want to get better on both ends of the court, but if this season works out like last year, I'll be very close to it

The only reason I have his total minutes lower than Hawes is I don't think he gets through the season injury-free.

The charge thing I was talking about above is meaningful to me, and it's something he's actually pretty good at. He developed it, and that gives me a bit of hope.

I think Speights' ceiling is so much higher than the other bigs. But my confidence in him reaching it is very low. he has the talent, skills and physical ability to be an All Star. Areas he lacks could be taught. But I'm resigned to that fact that it just not going to happen.

Sort of like a LT the Eagles once had name Bernard Williams. Of course Williams was banned form the NFL after failing 15 drug tests...

I agree with you but on one point, I'm not resigned, just yet, that it's not going to happen. This (to me) is his make or break year, if it doesn't happen this year, I don't think it will but I still think there's a shot it might.

Does Speights ever get a chance to become a p.f.? Why does this organization feel he is a center? Rookie deals are short and like Thad will we ever know what he could do at his more natural position?

I see slight improvement; 10 ppg., 6 rpg., 1 bpg. in 22 minutes a night. Hopefully he has no more knee issues.

Brian, with Turner at the 2 do you think this team can rebound as well as last year?

Defensive rebounding is probably going to be an issue. Turner, Iguodala and Jrue can all help clean up the slop, but any team that has a legit rebounding big is going to have a field day against us.

bebopdeluxe reply to deepsixersuede on Aug 6 at 12:13

Not if he can't defend.

Speights has the tool-box to be an impact PF, but - like Hawes - he simply hasn't shown it with ANY level of consistency. Is it personal motivation? Coaching? Bio-rhythms? I don't know...but for both Speights and Hawes, I think that they will be given ample rope this season to hang themselves. Perhaps the fact that BOTH of these guys will be looked at the same way (as underperformers who either get with the program or get lost) will actually be a plus...neither one will want to be viewed as the loser of the Battle-of-the-Slugs.

We'll see.

I think Speights has a significantly higher ceiling at PF than Hawes has at C. Speights has everything needed to be an elite PF, while Hawes lacks the size and quickness to match-up with some centers.

basically, at best Hawes could become an above average C. Speights has the tools to be a top 5 NBA PF.

That said, Speights is unlikely to ever come close to tapping into his talent.

bebopdeluxe reply to tk76 on Aug 6 at 12:37

I agree with your upside assessment of the two...and, unfortunately, I also agree with your assessment of the probability of Speights achieving that upside.

And even though Hawes' ceiling is lower, a 7-footer who can score, pass and block a shot or two is a nice commodity to find. I have no idea if he can become that, but it's worth a shot, IMO.

I'm predicting 5 gained pounds a game before he hurts his knee played and zero defense played per second.

Don't think you can change this tigers stripes. With a Coach who preaches accountability, Speights plays 6 to 12 minutes a game. Lets put him at an avg of 8 minutes. 4 pts. 3 reb's. instant offense. No defense.

"While I'm not hopeful, there is one area of defense that Speights has shown an aptitude for, drawing charges. He took 22 charges last season, and while this isn't really my preferred method of defending the paint, it is effective in a couple of ways."

At first I was going to say that I think you are undervaluing the effectiveness of taking a good charge. Then you proceeded to explain the three reasons why they are, in fact, so effective. Taking charges is a very underrated element of a good team defense. You don't need to have shot blockers to play D. Look at the Celtics...

I didn't realize that Speights took charges. I didn't get to watch the Sixers much last year because I was in NY and didn't have the NBA package. I had to rely on stat-tracking to judge players. Charges taken doesn't show up in the stats. 22 charges taken is actually quite good, considering that he hardly played 1000 minutes.

I watched an interview with Collins right after they got rid of Dalembert. He was asked about what would happen to the D after losing a shotblocker like Sam. Collins emphasized that he teaches a team defense and that perimiter man-to-man D and charges in the paint would be essential. Maybe Collins will be able to make a defensive gem of Speights after all?

MylesKong on Aug 6 at 9:47

I'd be curious to see the charges taken month to month. He seemed to be taking them a lot in the last month and a half. I'd venture a guess of 50% coming in that time period.

MylesKong on Aug 6 at 10:50

BTW Brian,
It's getting drafty. When's that Celtics window gonna close?

Around Christmas, after Shaq has pissed off half the team and the injuries start piling up. Big Baby will be the starting center and KG will be throwing out hints at post-game pressers about how the team has to play together and focus.

TruePhan on Sep 4 at 8:48

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Speights has the potential to be the next 'Sheed. Whether or not he actually works hard enough to fulfill that potential remains to be seen. 'Sheed had the "advantage" of coming from Philly and being a tough-minded player because of it.

As far as defensive effort: In the first game of the season, Speights frustrated Howard so much with his legal, in your face defense that Howard wanted to fight him. That earned him my respect. He wasn't the same player when he got injured. Before the injury, he had really turned the corner and blossomed into the defensive player we all thought he could maybe be. Whether he'll ever play that way again also remains to be seen.

At worst, he's a solid big man off the bench, especially given his gifted offensive skill. He's not just a great scorer/shooter; he's also a great passer and a guy who has the potential to not be limited in any way by the position he plays.

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