Elton Brand's Injury a Good Thing for the Sixers

If you haven't been paying attention to the Sixers recently, let me bring you up to speed: They made the playoffs last season playing a slashing, reckless form of small ball, and gave the Pistons a minor scare. Sensing the need for a post presence, they then inked Elton Brand in the off-season for a ton of money, and drafted Marreese Speights, another power forward. They also succumbed to pressure from nowhere and extended Andre Iguodala's contract like he was actually an All-Star. ↵

↵This year, there have been many losses, coach Maurice Cheeks was dismissed, Brand has managed to both not fit in and mess things up, second-year bright spot Thaddeus Young was squeezed out of the starting line-up, and everyone realized that PG Andre Miller could bolt this summer. ↵
↵
↵Now, Brand's set to have season-ending surgery on a separated shoulder that had already forced him to miss time and just generally limited him. And, with all due respect to Brand and his impressive career, this is a good thing. This means the team can return to the formula that propelled them to a perfectly respectable second half in 2007-08, using youth and athleticism to stress transition offense and a ball-hawking defense. ↵

↵

↵Young, who along with Iguodala and Williams should form the Sixers' nucleus for the future, will continue to get the touches and minutes he needs to develop -- and, as much as Iggy, get the team playing the style that best suits it. What's more, they have Speights to use as a pseudo-Brand if they want, except the rookie is a lot looser and thus a better match, and there's no pressure to give him the ball. ↵
↵
↵Who knows if last year's approach is a long-term solution. But it's pretty clear that Brand wasn't helping Philadelphia this season. If they can finish this season back at the same place where they were after 2007-08, at least they won't have lost ground. Until Brand returns, and the whole problem rears itself anew. Maybe that's why we were already hearing rumors about Philly trading its former prized free agent signing. With this injury, that resolution would probably have to wait until at least this summer. ↵

↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.