Brand's impact

John Smallwood wrote about Elton Brand's debut in the preseason opener against the NBA champion Boston Celtics in today's Daily News.

Today at practice, coach Maurice Cheeks and Thaddeus Young both talked about how nice it will be to have Brand in the middle, drawing double teams.

“It’s gonna make things real nice for me when they double-down on Elton. It will create a lot of room,” said Young.

Some other notes:

* Kareem Rush, who was held out of Wednesday’s game with a left ankle sprain, was deemed healthy by Cheeks.

* When asked about the wrap Theo Ratliff was wearing on his right leg, Cheeks responded with a laugh, “He’ll probably be wearing that all year.”

* The Sixers open the "home" portion of the preseason tonight at 7 o'clock against New York at the Wachovia Center. Should be a fun night down at the sports complex with the Phillies-Dodgers, Game 2 of the NLCS, beginning at 4:35, the Sixers game and the Phantoms opener at 7.

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