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News » Brand shows Sixers he can still log some minutes

Brand shows Sixers he can still log some minutes

Brand shows Sixers he can still log some minutes Perhaps all Elton Brand needed was a little time.

Time to fully recover from the injuries he has suffered the past two seasons and time on the Basketball court to rediscover his game - the one that produced 20 points and 10 rebounds for nine seasons and enticed the 76ers to sign him before last season for 5 years and $80 million.

All the talk heading into last Wednesday's game against Charlotte was whether coach Eddie Jordan was going to yank Brand from the starting lineup in favor of Rodney Carney. Jordan himself struggled with the issue, and it seemingly came down to a last-minute decision to stick with Brand.

It appears the coach made the right one.

Though the Sixers have lost two of three since last Wednesday, Brand's play has not been a problem. In the three games, the 6-9 forward from Duke has averaged just under 20 points, slightly over 10 rebounds, shot 52 percent from the floor, made 13 of 15 foul shots and recorded 11 blocks. Perhaps the most surprising stat is the 38.3, which is the minutes per game averaged in the past three.

At last Tuesday's practice, Jordan was asked if Brand is still a 38 to 40 minute a game player, which he had been his whole career. The coach's immediate response: "No. He's never had 2 years of injuries [before] so he's not a 40-minute player now. I mean, you can put him out there for 40 minutes, but I don't know how effective he's going to be. I know he won't be effective in those minutes because it's a process with his coming back after 2 years."

It was a total contrast to what Brand had said just a few minutes earlier when asked if he could log more minutes, with Marreese Speights sidelined with a knee injury.

"I could still play 40 minutes," Brand emphatically stated.

For now, it looks like he's right.

Jordan has called out his team a couple of times after games this season on their lack of physical play. Looking at the lineup he has now, Brand really is the only banger Jordan can count on every night. And he has been doing that, to the tune of more than 38 minutes a night, for the past three games.

Tough roadSaturday's 97-91 loss at Cleveland dropped the Sixers to 5-8 and the road ahead isn't very smooth.

The team will play at Washington tomorrow, a homecoming for Jordan who grew up in the D.C. area and coached there for five-plus seasons before getting fired last year, then travel to Boston on Wednesday. They will host the red-hot Atlanta Hawks, who have an NBA-best 11-3 record, on Friday, then embark on a four-game road trip that includes San Antonio, Dallas, Oklahoma City and Charlotte.

Kapono updateThree-point specialist Jason Kapono didn't play on Saturday at Clevelend due to a sprained left ankle. The hope is that he will be able to participate in noncontact drills at practice today, then be available for the Wizards game tomorrow.

Dalembert updateNo, center Sam Dalembert isn't suffering from any sort of injury, but his game certainly seems to be hurting. He has scored just eight points over the past three games and has seen very limited minutes. Jordan is quick to point out, almost daily, how well Dalembert has played on the defensive end. Maybe he sees something most others don't, or perhaps he's trying to light a fire under his starting center. Whatever, the team needs more from him, especially in the absence of Speights. *

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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 23, 2009


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