Don't misunderstand Elton Brand. He didn't sign on to be a backup, but he has been accepting of lineup changes, particularly if it means ending the 76ers' 12-game losing streak. Brand came off the bench in Monday night's 117-101 victory over the road-weary Golden State Warriors, while rookie Jrue Holiday was in the starting backcourt with Allen Iverson.
Brand came off the bench for the third time this season, but seems far more likely to be a starter Wednesday night against the bigger, beefier Cleveland Cavaliers. Holiday made his sixth start, and seemed to please coach Eddie Jordan with his ability to initiate the offense and defend against Warriors star Monta Ellis. Holiday's numbers: 15 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals in 38:55.
''My temperament after losing so many, I just want to win,'' Brand said. "So (Jordan) knows I'm not going to not be professional, be a detriment to the team. It works both ways.''
Brand, in fact, provided some necessary punch in the first half against the Warriors, contributing 9 points on 4-for-4 shooting plus 3 rebounds.
''It's not hard (to accept),'' he said. ''You switch on the button, go out there and play. Believe me, this is a great life. Especially when you get a win.''
Jordan likes the pairing of Holiday and Allen Iverson in the backcourt because ''It gives us solid, true guard play. Andre (Iguodala) gives us a great defensive presence at any position actually, (but) to get real good guard play it's good to have Jrue and Allen together to start. The concept is to get guys running after a make or a miss and let either of the guards push it. I like their decision-making because they're solid playmaking guards.''
''Jrue is a very good defender,'' Jordan added. "He gives Allen a little bit less of an assignment and gets him off the ball, because Allen's just learning some of the offense and Jrue knows how to initiate the offense . . . He's finding a home in a starting position.''