NBA.com (John Schuhmann) reports: With Andre Iguodala’s numbers and the standings as Exhibits A and B, the Sixers have been better without their high-priced power forward than they’ve been with him. Saturday was Elton Brand’s first game action since dislocating his shoulder 5 1/2 weeks ago. Before he went down, the Sixers were 11-14 and fired head coach Maurice Cheeks just 23 games into the season. While Brand was injured, the Sixers were 10-7 and a much better offensive team. The simple conclusion is that Brand’s post game is not a good match for his teammates who play more aggressive when there’s not a big man taking up space in the paint. And 42 games into the season, it’s hard to argue otherwise. The Sixers led 34-22 when Brand entered the game Saturday, having connected on 15 of their first 23 field goal attempts. Now, they weren’t going to keep up that pace whether Brand played or not, but their offense did get noticeably stagnant with Brand on the floor. There was less penetration and less ball movement. Defense was even more of an issue, but that could be chalked up to the Knicks just getting hot from downtown.

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