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Brand out? Who's in?

Earlier today Kate Fagan speculated that there might be a change in the Sixers lineup on Wednesday night. What change? No one is quite sure, especially head coach Eddie Jordan.

Then we asked if that might mean a change to the starting lineup. Here's where it gets interesting. Jordan said, "Ummm," then there was a long pause and he smiled and said, "Who knows? Nothing is going to change until Wednesday, if there is a change."

No surprise there. All we know is, if there is a change, it will most likely involve Elton Brand moving to the bench. This comes after super-sophomore Marreese Speights went down with a partially torn MCL, who some fans wanted to see take Brand's spot anyway. Now that he's hurt, EJ is left with Jason Smith, Bill Green or Rodney Carney as potential replacements. 

In the meantime, there are some differing opinions on how much Elton can contribute. 

Brand, for what it's worth, said he still thought he was a 40 minute a night player.

Yeah, if he were playing for the LA Sparks.

[Eddie Jordan] was asked if he felt Brand was a 40-minute a night player. His response, without hesitation, was "No."

For what it's worth, I don't Elton thinks you're a 40-minute a night coach, so there.

Here's what I would do:

Bench Elton, start Carney and Iguodala at the two and the three (order doesn't matter), slide Thad to the four and start Jason Smith at center. It sounds crazy, but hear me out.

Carney and Iguodala give the starting lineup two solid wing defenders and insane athleticism to do the whole run and gun thing that has worked for them in year's past (F the Princeton Offense). Jason Smith is an okay defender, and unlike Sam won't commit stupid fouls, turn the ball over on outlet passes, or play outside of his comfort level. In other words, we won't see him attempting to cross-over his man, fight through a double team and throw up a left-handed hook shot while doing a complete 360 in mid-air. (I may have exaggerated a little, but that's exactly how Sam imagines it when he catches the pass.) Smith also stretches the floor with his three-point range. Throw in Lou and Thad (who defends fours better than threes, <--- numbers tell me I'm wrong, my mind tells me I'm right), and the starting lineup is full of:

  1. Athleticism - Fast breaks galore.
  2. 3-point range - Everyone on the floor is capable of hitting a three.
  3. No defense - Eddie Jordan will have his opponents right where he wants 'em.
Then, the ever-problematic bench can slow the pace down, rebound well, play solid defense and keep games close. Here's the first five off the bench in my scenario:

PG - Jrue Holiday
SG - Bill Green
SF - Jason Kapono
PF - Elton Brand
C - Samuel Dalembert

Four out of those five guys are average/above average defenders. In theory, Elton and Sam would provide solid rebounding and interior defense, Jrue and Green would stop penetration, and Kapono would stand around like the skinny white guy at the park, wearing matching warm-ups and a head band, hoping the ball doesn't get passed to his man. (Yes, I just described myself.) That's on defense.

On offense, they could rotate between Brand and Green as the focal points and hope Jason Kapono gets open for a couple of threes. 

If you have a problem with my suggestion and your argument include the words "de" or "fense", save it, because you know better than that. 

That's what I would do, but here's what Eddie Jordan will do: Bench Brand, start Carney at the two, slide Iguodala to the three and Thaddeus to the four. And don't worry, he'll convince Stefanski he's making the right move by conducting a 9-hour "chalk session" before the game.

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