- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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“Some of the sets we had is he would pass me the ball and I would shoot and score,” Brand cracked. “I would like to continue that tradition here.”
There’s some truth in that jest. Brand averaged 20-plus points per game in each of the four seasons he played with Kaman in Los Angeles, peaking at a career-best 24.7 points in 2005-06, when the Clippers won 47 games and advanced to the second round of the playoffs.
But it’s not like Kaman was setting Brand up much during those days. The big man never averaged more than 1.2 assists per game while he played with Brand.
Nevertheless, there is a comfort level with the Brand-Kaman pairing. Of course, they understand that neither of them will be the focal point of the Mavs’ frontcourt. They were brought to Dallas to complement Dirk Nowitzki.
“We’re used to having the best big defender guarding us. That’s no longer gonna happen,” Brand said. “They have to guard Dirk. We all know that he’s one of the greatest. So we’re looking forward to that, exploiting matchups and being in the low post, depending on where coach has us get the ball. But we expect to exploit those matchup problems out there with Dirk out there playing with us at different times.”
It will be a transition for Brand to get used to play with Nowitzki. That’s not the case for Kaman, who discovered he had German ancestry just in time to help Nowitzki go to the Olympics.
“I’ve established a pretty good relationship with Dirk,” Kaman said. “I feel like I’m comfortable playing with him, so that was kind of one of the things that helped bring me here to Dallas. And I’m just really looking forward to the opportunity, seeing what it brings in the NBA, as opposed to European players. And I played with Elton for four or five years in L.A., and we have a good relationship as well. So I’m in a pretty comfortable position here.”