The other day on Twitter, I joked that Elton Brand looks like a shell of a shell of his former self. I think I may have been too kind. Elton looks much, much worse.
The former 20/10 machine, who’s healthy this season, is struggling mightily out of the gates. Brand is throwing up 10 points and 5 boards a night, numbers hardly befitting a player getting paid $14.8 mil to play hoops this year (with another $51 million owed to him over the next three seasons.)
Due to his struggles, Brand finds himself on the bench a lot these days, especially at crunch time. And he’s none too happy about it.
From the Philly Inquirer:
Brand said that “absolutely” this was the first time in his career he has sat when games are being decided. He said that, of course, he’s pressing to show he can return to pre-injury effectiveness. “I’m human, so it happens,” Brand said. “I don’t think I’ve had the opportunity to be out there and say, ‘Hey, OK, let’s do something different,’ you know what I mean?”
After Monday night’s 119-115 loss to the Phoenix Suns – one of the games this season in which Brand sat the entire fourth quarter – a question to Brand went something like, “So, you’ve been on the bench at the end of the last three games?”Added Brand: “At least . . .”
Unfortunately for Brand and his ego, head coach Eddie Jordan doesn’t sound particularly enthused by what he’s seen from his wildly expensive power forward, and says that Elton has yet to regain his pre-injury form.
Until Elton can get his get his health and game on the same page, expect the frustration to build, and for things to get worse before they get any better.