Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Get Elton the ball

As Elton Brand goes, so go the Sixers.

Get Elton the ball

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Frank Gunn

Maybe I'm missing something, but this Sixers thing seems pretty simple:

Get Elton the ball.

Admittedly, eight games is a pretty limited sample size, but so far, when Elton Brand gets his shots, the Sixers win. It's really pretty plain. On Wednesday night in Toronto, he took 21 shots, scored 25 points, everything seemed to open up for everybody else, and the Sixers won the game.

In the Sixers' three wins this season, he has taken 51 shots in 99 minutes played. That's one shot every 1 minute, 56 seconds.

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In the Sixers' five losses this season, he has taken 59 shots in 188 minutes played. That's one shot every 3 minutes, 11 seconds.

So it's pretty obvious, at least in the short term. The question they all have to ask themselves is if it is the answer in the long-term, too.  For Brand's career, the average works out to one shot every 2 minutes, 30 seconds that he has played. That is probably where this should land in the end. But it just seems to make sense, here and now, while they're all learning how to play with their new star, to lean on the star for the time being. Start with the known. Start with Brand. Work it through him, watch opposing teams make their adjustments, and then counter-punch from there.

I haven't been there and I can't tell if, in the losses, it has been a matter of Brand not demanding the ball because he wants to fit in with this new group, or because the new group is feeling its way, or because the coaching vision is something different. It might be a combination of all three. There is still plenty of time to figure it out.

But in the here and now, when in doubt, throw it in to Elton.

Daily News Sports Columnist
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Rich Hofmann arrived at the Daily News in 1980 for a job whose status was officially designated as "full-time, temporary." A senior at Penn at the time, he was hired to fill in on the copy desk during a staff illness. The notion of him covering the Eagles or being a columnist did not exist in anyone's imagination. It was supposed to be six weeks and out, but he never left. It is only one of the reasons why so many people have concerns about him as a potential house guest. Rich has blogged the postseasons of the Flyers and Eagles. E-mail Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com Reach Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com.

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
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