MMPG: Team of the Week

Philadelphia 76ers


How are we going to keep this up when Elton gets back? (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Don't rush, Elton. Take your time, big fella. If you feel any soreness in your shoulder, just shut it down and rest. The Philadelphia 76ers haven't exactly said that to Elton Brand, but there is no doubt that they have thought about it several times during this season-high seven-game winning streak, which has them back at .500 (20-20) for the first time since the team started the season 7-7.

Brand is expected to return soon from his dislocated right shoulder, possibly this afternoon against Dallas. On the night he got hurt, Philadelphia went on to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks, 93-88. But after winning in Washington two nights later, the 76ers lost six of their next eight games. They haven't lost since San Antonio's Tony Parker beat them with a last-second shot on Jan. 3.

The 76ers won three games last week, defeating Western Conference contenders Portland and San Antonio at home, and then beating the Knicks in New York. Philadelphia has figured out how to win without Brand -- by using the same formula that got them to the playoffs last season (running the floor, making aggressive drives to the hoop and pushing the tempo). The 76ers have scored 100 or more points in six of the past seven games, after reaching triple digits just 10 times in their first 33. They are 9-6 without Brand -- but the 76ers still don't know how to win with their huge $82 million investment. Andre Iguodala, who struggled playing alongside Brand, has fueled the recent surge by scoring 20 or more points in 11 of the past 14 games.


By Michael Lee |  January 19, 2009; 8:59 AM ET MMPG: Week 12
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Les BouleS had the best week as they inched closer to more ping pong balls for the lottery.

Two way tie right now for the worst team in the NBA with 8 wins.

Yay!

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | January 19, 2009 9:26 AM

A classic example of a bad trade -- you take a player designed for the half-court and stick him in the middle of a fast-breaking team. Then you wonder why neither the player nor the team prospers.

Remind anybody of Shaq and Mike D'Antoni at Phoenix last year?

Be hard for the Sixers to do much in the playoffs, however, when everybody slows it down. Maybe the hope is Brand will earn his money then. But that's asking a lot of a team, to change up its game that late in the year....

Posted by: Samson151 | January 19, 2009 10:29 AM

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