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Jack McCaffery is the lead sports columnist for the Daily Times and He has spent several decades covering everything from the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and Sixers, to college hoops, to high school sports in Delco.

Friday, May 18, 2012


Doug Collins starts Elton Brand, will continue to start Elton Brand, will always start Elton Brand no matter how injured, and he is injured now.

He will start him because he thinks he should. Besides, if the Sixers' 92-83 victory over Boston proved anything Friday, it was the eternal basketball truth that it's not who starts, but who finishes.

That would have been Lavoy Allen Friday, and Thad Young, and Lou Williams, and, give or take an offense-defense substitution pattern, Jodie Meeks ... none of whom were in the starting lineup.

"We were sitting there talking to each other tonight," Young said. "We said, 'If we are going to get back in this game, it is going to have to be as a team, a whole thing, not just individually.' So we just played our roles and perfected our roles tonight and just had fun doing it."

So the Sixers head to Boston for Game 5, assured of another home game.

Before it, Brand will be introduced with the starters.

"I just think E.B. deserves to start," Collins said. "I think he is one of our proudest players. I admire and respect him to the ultimate. I am not going to come in here in a game like tonight and not have him in our starting lineup. I'm just not going to do that. I have too much respect for this game and for him and what he's done, for our team and for what he's done for our organization.

"He was a much-maligned player here for a couple of years because of his contract and his injuries. And I am going to give him every chance to be successful. I believe that's what you do with players who are professional and do those kind of things. And that's just what I am going to do."

Even if it really matters who he has in at the end.

Check out my column on Collins, his substitution pattern and its role in a critical Sixers victory in the Daily Times Saturday and, as always, on


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