That name can do a lot of thing for different people. It can make you cringe because of the contract, make you weep at his age, make you smile because of his veteran leadership, or make you shrug your shoulders with indifference. That in itself is a grade for the veteran forward; at this point in his career he’s simply, well, mediocre at best. But because this is a “report card” post and is supposed to be a spot to dissect the imperfections of a team that was more hot and cold than a Katy Perry song, allow me to embellish.
As of this minute, Brand is sitting at the tender age of 33 and has been playing in the League since he was 20 years old. In that time he’s played in 860 regular season games and 30 post season games. That’s good for 33,374 career minutes. During that time, EB has ruptured an Achilles and had shoulder surgery among other bumps and bruises. He is an undersized, Charles Barkley-esque power forward type who is quickly losing the athleticism that befriended his wide base in his younger years.
Take a look at the numbers:
This season EB averaged career lows in minutes played (28.9 per game), field goals made and attempted (EB attempted 581 shots this season; converting 287 of them. Again, let me repeat. He only shot 581 times in 60 regular season games! For comparison purposes, in 2008-2009, Brand played in 29 games due to having major shoulder surgery. He got off 365 shots. 365 in an injury plagued season!), free throws made and attempted (1.4-1.9) and points (11.0).
He ranked 16th among power forward’s with 7.2 rebounds per game (Ryan Anderson averaged 7.7), 22nd in rebounds per 48 minutes played with 11.9 and was tied for 21st with 11 double doubles (Anderson Varejao had 14 in 25 games, not sure how I should take that).
As a result of the accumulation of those statistics, it seemed as though Brand became a part time player for the Sixers in 2011-2012; whose front office reps seemingly agreed that the best option for the future of the franchise was to slowly phase the veteran out, awarding more minutes to their valuable youngsters.
So what grade do I give Brand this season?
I have to go with a “C”.
He offered valuable leadership (which I am a huge proponent of) and decent numbers that the Sixers desperately needed. Still, his numbers are getting worse, his minutes are decreasing and the Sixers are going in a different direction. Would I like to see the veteran stay along with the 7-6’s future plans for a few more years? Absolutely, good teams always need a quality veteran big. But if we could get a few studs for his expiring contract, only to bring him back for the veteran’s minimum in 2014, I’d like it even more.