The Dallas Mavericks begin a four game home stand tonight starting with the Golden State Warriors. The 4 straight home games may help the Mavs, but I guarantee that it will not be an easy Thanksgiving week.
One guy that needs to step it up this week is Elton Brand. He has been a non-factor this first month of the NBA season and it has showed. Yes, he is good for a person who can pick up extra fouls, but that’s not what he was brought to Dallas to do.
If the Mavs want to sweep this home stand, he is going to need to bring his “A” game every night. He is averaging this season 6.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. Those stats will not help the Mavs. If he continues to bring a lack of production to the team, then he will be benched again, as he was on Saturday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
With other big men that come off the bench like Brandan Wright and Troy Murphy, Brand is easily replaced. I believe that this week will determine how valuable Brand is to the team.
If he does perform, great. If he doesn’t, then I believe that he will be pulled from the starting line-up and be replaced by either Wright or Murphy.
With Dirk Nowitzki probably still out for at least another month the Mavs cannot afford any more “L’s” in the loss column. That means that Brand will need to play like he did when he was with the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Clippers.
He has barely hit his career averages this season. He has career averages of 18.1 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game.
For the Mavs to walk away with a sweep this week Brand will need to get close to his career averages. Otherwise, Dallas will be looking at a disappointing Thanksgiving week.