Elton Brand (PF/C, Philadelphia 76ers) is recovering from the dislocated shoulder he suffered on Dec. 17. He’s practiced with the team and says the shoulder is feeling fine. Unfortunately and sad to say, the Sixers are doing fine in his absence as well. They’ve found a spark from last year’s chemistry and are actually playing some reasonably consistent fluid basketball. Now the question looms over every fantasy basketball manager who owns a 76ers’ head, What will be the impact of Brand’s imminent return to the lineup be?
Well let’s start with the obvious. For Elton Brand owners, well they won’t be exactly “toasting Bacardi like it’s their birthday”, but I am sure they will be pleased. Even if they get back the pre-shoulder-injury-underperforming Brand, it would still be better than ZERO production or most free agent pool pick-ups anyway.
The bigger issue will be for the managers who own Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Thaddeus Young… do people still own Samuel Dalembert? – Just kidding, he still has a 74% disappointed ownership in Yahoo!
Andre Iguodala and Miller have rekindled their offensive partnership and have been able to sneak in a few wins for Philly while Brand was away. Their scoring and assist averages got some upward bumps in the process. This of course, was putting smiles on their fantasy owners faces.
Well, very soon, the Brand reagent will be reintroduced into to the chemistry of what we remember as the Philadelphia Sixers of last year. As we in the fantasy world may remember from the start of the season, when this was first attempted, the reaction to Brands introduction wasn’t as “Eureka!” as expected. We saw a drop in the stats of Brand himself, Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, and the hardest hit of course was Samuel Dalembert.
Brand and the Sixers are not necessarily a bad elemental mix per se. It’s entirely possible that it is just a matter of it being a slow process for Brand to be properly and completely integrated into the Sixer molecule.
Sadly folks, this time around will pretty much be the same as the first mixture. Brand’s injury only served to delay his jelling with his new team and vice-versa. Expect both Andres and Sam-Dam’s stats to dip again. Brand will most likely be coming back to produce his 15.9/9.8/1.4 and his 35 minutes per game. Don’t sell off your Andres (Iggy and Miller) just yet. Fine, I wouldn’t fault you if you dumped your Dalemberts. Post all-star break is just around the corner and when the Brand reagent finally gets to bind properly with the other elements of the 76er compound, things should begin to stabilize from there. Until then Iguodala, Miller, and Young owners; simply buckle-up and get ready for another up and down ride. Well until then, Samuel Dalembert may be relegated back to fantasy dirt.
Long term, the biggest fantasy losers in Elton Brand’s eventual return will be the guys who’ve had to step up in his absence. Say goodbye to interim Louis Williams, Marreese Speights, Willie Green’s fantasy significance.