No one is more encouraged by Elton Brand’s recent play than Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, and for good reason.
“This was a vintage game for him,” Carlisle said after his team’s 92-77 NBA victory Saturday night over the Detroit Pistons. “For whatever reason, his shot making has been up and down. He got into the flow of the game. He got into it and he affected it greatly on both ends. He had blocks and he had rebounds in traffic. He was hitting shots and making passes. It was really a big-time effort when we really needed it most. His effort was enormous.”
Brand, in his best game as a Maverick, saw action for nearly 28 minutes and was 8-of-12 from the floor and 1-of-2 from the stripe for 17 points and 12 rebounds.
“There’s just a real sense of urgency, we needed to get off the snide,” he said. “We have lost a few games that we thought we could have won. Coach is giving me the opportunity to play and if I’m out there I always think I can help the team.”
What’s also encouraging for the Mavericks is that Brand’s defensive play is coming up strong. He blocked four shots against the Pistons.
“I had the opportunity to get out there and get some minutes and get in the flow,” he said. “Once we get back we are good. O.J. (Mayo) had the opportunity to hit some open threes, that gives Darren (Collison) the opportunity to penetrate and (Shawn) Marion the ability to hit his floaters. We are off and running after we get stops.”