Brand Out, Smith, Holiday In

The 76ers' Elton Brand, who strained his right hamstring in Tuesday night's loss in Washington, is sitting out a second game tonight and is not expected to play Sunday night in San Antonio. The plan is for him to resume competition Monday night in Dallas.

With Brand and Lou Williams out, coach Eddie Jordan is starting Jason Smith at power forward and rookie Jrue Holiday at point guard against the Atlanta Hawks. Williams  is expected to miss two months with a broken jaw bone suffered Tuesday night in a collision with the Wizards' Antawn Jamison.

Of Brand, Jordan said he probably could have tried to play tonight but the coaching staff prefers to err on the side of caution.

Holiday made his first start in wsednesday night's loss in Boston.

''Jrue gives us good, solid defense,'' Jordan said. ''He pushes the ball, makes good decisons and he's not afraid to be aggressive offensively . . . It's a rite of passage; you need some time (as a rookie). Jrue Holiday, his time has come.''

At the same time, the Sixers went into tonight's game facing some daunting statistics: They are 0-5 vs. opponents with records of .500 or better and 1-7 when they allow at least 100 points. The Hawks are coming in with a record of 11-4, their best start since going 13-2 to begin the 1997-98 season.