76ers coach Eddie Jordan made the move he had been threatening to make for more than a month: He moved power forward Elton Brand to the bench.
Last night against the Golden State Warriors, Jordan started a lineup of veteran Allen Iverson, rookie Jrue Holiday, Andre Iguodala, Thaddeus Young, and Samuel Dalembert.
Brand, who averaged 14.6 points and 8.4 rebounds in his previous five games, did not start for the third time this season. In the previous two non-starts, he was recovering from a strained right hamstring.
Beginning in mid-November, Jordan made it known that he was considering the move. Leading up to the Nov. 18 game against the Charlotte Bobcats, Jordan and Brand discussed - at length - a potential move to the bench. Eventually, Jordan kept Brand in the starting lineup. With Brand starting, and scoring 19 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, the Sixers won that game, then lost 12 straight entering last night's contest.
"We want to get some paint scores," Jordan said before the game, before revealing his starting lineup. "That'll be the big issue tonight: Can we get into the paint and score? [The Warriors] are not a big shot-blocking team, you know, a big front line. As a matter of fact, they're the opposite, they're small. We'd like to see if we can get some points in the paint, and it doesn't always have to be post-ups in the paint."
Jordan went on to say he'd like to see more slashing to the hoop.
Williams back sooner?
Sixers point guard Lou Williams posted on Twitter yesterday that he was "projecting" himself to return Dec. 26 against the Utah Jazz. Williams, who had his broken jaw wired Nov. 26, was expected to be sidelined for eight weeks.
The Sixers have not changed his timetable, which would put him back on the court in mid-to-late January.
"The schedule is still the schedule," Jordan said last night. "Whatever it was."
Curry's a Big Five fan
Golden State rookie Stephen Curry, who started last night's game against the Sixers, was at Temple on Sunday when the Owls knocked off Villanova. Curry tweeted the following: "At the Temple vs Nova game watching this kid [Juan] Fernandez get buckets!!! Upset brewing." Later he said: "This is a great display of college basketball right here."
- Kate Fagan