Brand Out For a Month…A Blessing?

18 12 2008

By Mike Gill

Sixers forward Elton Brand will be sidelined for a month because of a dislocated shoulder suffered in the team’s win over Milwaukee on Saturday.  Brand, who is averaging 15.9 points and 9.8 rebounds per game this season, has a fracture and tear in his right shoulder but will not need surgery.

Brand will miss at least a month for the Sixers.

Brand will miss at least a month for the Sixers.

My question for Sixers fans, is the a blessing in disguise?

The Sixers have really struggled to find a rhythm with Brand in the line-up, but this injury allows them to pretty much use the rotations and players that helped them make a run into the playoffs last season. 

You should see a lot more of Willie Greene at the two, Thaddus Young at the four and Andre Iguodala at the three, with Louis Williams getting much more consistent play off the bench.  Also rookie Marreese Speights should see more time in Brand’s absence, but where will Brand fit in once he comes back?

Could the Sixers have made a $80-million mistake? 

Time will tell but this injury might actually help this team gain some confidence and get itself on the winning track.  With upcoming games with Washington and Indiana, that could give the Sixers a four game winning streaking heading into Boston on Tuesday.

The team will embark on a long six game road-trip including that Boston game.  What better way to remedy itself by turning back the clock to the successful line-up of last season and running up-and-down and pulling off some upset wins over teams like Denver, Utah, LA Clippers, Dallas and San Antonio.

They may say they will do what they did with Elton or without him, but Sixer fans all know they are much more athletic without Brand then they are without him.  This team has to and is going to get back to what they were last season, but they really struggled to find a way to score with him on the floor.

Tony DiLeo and Ed Stefanski want this team to run, right now they don’t have any other choice or recourse at this point.  But after this month is over, could the Sixers find themselves with a $80-million mistake in their lap?

Listen, I like Elton Brand and I dont think he is the main issue.  Is it a mistake, at this point, maybe.  But its the risk you need to take and he was a big risk, after playing just eight games last season.

First and foremost, they need to win.  With or without Brand, this team was expected to win this season.  And maybe right now playing without Brand gives them the best shot to win.  This is a nice bunch of guys who a lot of people thought would be very good, but so far they haven’t been very good. 

The city has kind of lost that loving feeling for the Sixers that it had this off season when Brand was brought on board.  For so long Sixers fans have said that they needed a low-post presence.  But that was during the Iverson days, maybe what they really need with this new look athletic squad is a shooter who can hit the three.  Rebounding and defense is nice, but if you have a low-post guy who cant keep up with the rest of the players on the floor, that’s a problem. 

The Sixers will have a month to find out if they made a mistake.  Maybe without Brand they start to gel and get on a nice role and then can ease him back into the mix once he returns.  But this injury couldn’t have come at a better time if you ask me.




One response

19 12 2008
Michael DeLuca

I won’t go as far as saying that it’s a blessing, but in the long run it may work out for the best. Getting Speights and Williams some extended minutes can only help this squad. We need to find out to what level they can contribute. I think both can be very good players. What hurts is that Willie Green is going to see even more time on the floor. He’s terrible, +/- is currently a team worst -37!

I actually would like to see Donyell Marshall get some more playing time. Sure he’s a bit older, but I still feel he can be a productive player and by having a perimiter shooter on the floor, we could really open up our offense.

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