Sixers Notes: If need be, Brand ready to step up for Sixers

Posted: January 10, 2012

The numbers - 8.4 points and 7.4 rebounds - look like they belong to someone other than Elton Brand, who has averaged 18.7 points and 9.6 rebounds over a 12-year career.

Those are Brand's numbers through seven games this season, however neither he nor anyone else in the 76ers locker room seems the least bit concerned.

"It's not a worry because we are winning, and I don't have a big sample of 38-, 39-minute games," said Brand, who went into the 76ers' game Monday against the Indiana Pacers averaging 27.6 minutes per game.

But Brand knows that eventually the Sixers will need him to log minutes and put up the big numbers, and that time, he believes, is not far away.

"I feel I'll be prepared when that time comes, and it's going to come. It's going to come fast. There's going to be a night when Coach is going to say, 'I need you to play. I know we've got six games in eight nights, but I'm going to need you to play 40 minutes tonight,' and I'll be ready for that," Brand said.

The Sixers have had the luxury of resting Brand, 32, because they have been on the winning side of some blowouts; all five of their victories before Monday's game had been by at least nine points, and four had been by 20 or more.

Coach Doug Collins rationalized that it takes big men longer to get it going.

"We've only been at it for about a month, which means we'd normally just be getting out of training camp," Collins said. "So I'm hoping that the longer we go along the more EB will get into a rhythm. The rhythm has not been there for him yet."

Brand, the top overall pick by Chicago in the 1999 draft, has appeared in the playoffs just three times. He hopes to make it a fourth. To that end, the 6-foot-9 forward has spent a lot of time talking with the younger players and instilling in them the importance of being unselfish and sacrificing for the team.

"The way we are playing, there is going to be an all-star from our team, and it's probably not going to be me. But it's going to be one of the younger guys that deserve it, and if we keep winning, there might be two," Brand said. "Winning is going to do that. So I'm telling them not to worry about numbers, don't worry about minutes, just worry about 'W's. At this point in my career, that's the most important thing."

Brand reads the box scores and sees young power forwards putting up the numbers of shots he used to take.

"I used to be that guy," Brand said. "But I'd rather be where I am right now, doing my role and stepping up when it's time to step up."

Extra points. The Pacers are one of just six teams the Sixers will play four times this season. The teams split four games last season. . . . The Sixers haven't won two in a row against Indiana since March 10 and April 10, 2007.


Contact staff writer John N. Mitchell at jmitchell@philly.com. Follow him on Twitter @deepsixer3.

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