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Saturday, January 17, 2009
Sixers sit Brand against Knicks

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- The Philadelphia 76ers decided to wait at least one more game before putting Elton Brand back on the floor.

Brand didn't play Saturday night against the New York Knicks, but could return Monday afternoon when the 76ers host Dallas. Coach Tony DiLeo said Brand would practice Sunday, then be re-evaluated before a decision was made.

DiLeo said when Brand does come back, it will at first be as a reserve playing short stints, perhaps 5-6 minutes at a time.

"He'll be coming off the bench and we'll just try to work him in slowly," DiLeo said. "He really hasn't had like a full practice. We haven't had time to have a full practice where we went up and down the court and he could scrimmage for 20 minutes. We really haven't had that possibility."

Brand dislocated his right shoulder on Dec. 17 and missed his 15th straight game Saturday. There was no rush to bring him back, since Philadelphia brought a six-game winning streak to New York.

Plus, the Sixers struggled to fit in their big offseason acquisition earlier this season and were only 11-14 when Brand went out. Their fast-break offense was in a groove recently -- and DiLeo said it wouldn't be thrown off by Brand's return.

"We will play the same way. Elton will fit into that style," DiLeo said. "We are definitely a better team with Elton on the court so we're not going to change our style."