Elton Brand has been back for three games now, two of them Philadelphia wins. Brand's Wednesday triumph in Houston was the sort of game Philadelphia dreamed about last July: 14 points, seven rebounds and six blocks in just 27 minutes, a +6 in the ledger. While the incumbent 76er starting five from most of 2007-08 fell behind Houston's front five, Brand helped pick them up and get Philly a nice road win.
That's how it was supposed to work ... but it didn't, not in November or December. So if it works when Brand comes off the bench, is there any reason to put the $14 million man back in the starting line-up? Coach Tony DiLeo doesn't seem to think so.
Tom Moore of PhillyBurbs.com can't get DiLeo to commit on Brand's status, but it seems pretty clear E.B. will remain the sixth man for now.
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DiLeo said Thursday afternoon in a phone conversation that starting Brand at power forward Friday night against the Wizards "might be a bit premature."
With Willie Green currently starting at two-guard, the talent swap in moving Brand back to the starting five while knocking Thaddeus Young and Andre Iguodala to more natural positions seems like an easy call. But talent isn't all that matters -- the 76ers need the right fit going forward. If this works -- two wins in three games isn't proof either way -- it may be best to leave Brand out of the starting line-up for good.
But that won't happen: in the aforelinked missive, DiLeo indicates that Brand will return to the starting five at some point during the upcoming seven-game homestand. The ramifications for Iguodala and Samuel Dalembert -- heck, the Philly offense as a whole -- should be watched before and after.
Regardless, the most important note regarding Brand this week comes from the Philly front office, which (despite the best efforts of ESPN's Chad Ford) has emphatically denied that Brand is on the trade market.
Elton Brand: Not Starting Yet, Not Getting Traded Ever originally appeared on NBA FanHouse on Fri, 30 Jan 2009 10:56:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.