We're now deep into the rotation with our Early Predictions
series. Today we'll tackle Elton Brand. Bounce-back season or slaloming down the backside of his prime with no brakes.
Brand was, by far, the hardest for me to predict to this point in the series. On the one hand, I believe his poor production last season had more to do with Eddie Jordan than deteriorated skills. On the other hand, I do believe his skills have deteriorated to a degree. I think Doug Collins will get more out of him, but I just don't know how much there is to get. Here are my predictions:
- Minutes: 1,900
- Points/game: 13
- Rebs/game: 7.5
- Ast/game: 1.4
- Steals/game: 1.0
- Blocks/game: 1.4
- TOV/game: 1.2
- FG%: 49%
Better rebounding, better defense, better effort, better overall production in fewer minutes. That's pretty much what I think Collins will be able to get out of Brand. Nothing spectacular, because I think he's going to be seeing decent time at the five, which just isn't a good place for him, and he's going to be asked to do way too much on the glass and in terms of protecting the paint.
I see Brand starting, probably at the four with either Hawes or Speights at the five, but he'll need to be out there more often than not when Collins decides to go small with Thad or Nocioni at the four. The drop in minutes are a result of the crowding Thad and Nocioni will cause at the four and five. I think Brand plays pretty much a full season, more than 75 games.
Your thoughts in the comments, as usual.