Shootaround report: Brand returns to Philly hungry for win Mavericks (7-7) at 76ers (8-6)
PHILADELPHIA -- After spending four seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers and helping the franchise return to prominence, Dallas Mavericks big man Elton Brand returns to the Wells Fargo Center with the belief that Tuesday night is just another game in which his current team has a chance to collect a much-needed road victory.
Following his amnesty release from Philly this offseason, Brand signed with the Mavericks originally believing that he would be backing up 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki at power forward. But, with Nowitzki still sidelined from his Oct. 19 arthroscopic knee surgery, Brand has started 12 of his 13 appearances with the Mavs. And after the team's most lopsided loss of the season, a 115-89 rout at home to the Los Angeles Lakers last Saturday night, Brand hopes to make his return to Philadelphia a successful one against the 8-6 Sixers.
"It's good. Good to be back in the area, of course. My family, my wife and my kids are still here, so I got to spend time with them yesterday, so it's good," Brand said of his return.
He added: "It's different. It's a different stage of my career. You know, when I was with the [Chicago] Bulls and I started playing with the [L.A.] Clippers, there's nothing more I wanted to do than win that game. You know, beat that team that traded me. But now, it's a little different. Definitely want to win, but I wanted to win the last game and I want to win the next game. So, it's all on the same level now."
With the former No. 1 overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft not seeking retribution against his former team, however, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle still admits that his players will have to play with a chip on their shoulders after a disappointing showing against the Lakers.
And with a great amount of respect for the man that will be coaching on the opposite sidelined Tuesday night, Carlisle will try to get his team back in the win column before traveling to Chicago for the second half of a back-to-back.
"The best coached team in the league, year in and year out. Pound-for-pound there's no better coach than Doug Collins. You know, he's doing a great job with them," Carlisle said of the head man on the Sixers' bench. "They don't have [Andrew] Bynum, who they were depending on to be kind of the focal point of what they were doing, but with the pieces that they've got they're playing great basketball and we're gonna have to be really solid to beat them."
Note: The Mavs will head out on the road for a back-to-back beginning Tuesday night, touching down in Philadelphia for a battle against the 76ers. The game will air locally at 6 p.m. CT on Fox Sports Southwest and nationally on NBA TV.