As if anybody might have missed it, I'm going to point out that Elton Brand has stepped up his productivity in the last two games. Just a bit.
After a decent 7 for 15, 17 point performance against the Lakers on December 2nd, EB was averaging 17.1 points per game, and shooting 48.8%. So basically, that Lakers game was spot on his season averages.
A 12 for 14, 31 point performance against Orlando bumped him up to 18.0 ppg, on 51.1% shooting.
13 for 18 and 33 points against the Heat moved the needle to 18.9 ppg, and 52.7%.
In two games, he has increased his scoring average by 1.8 points, and increased his FG% by 3.9 percentage points. WOW!
His rebounding (10.6 per game, 9th in the league) and shot blocking (1.9 per game, 13th) have remained solid all along. So it shouldn't be long now before he's right back at the 20/10 threshold that has become his trademark.
It's early in the season, but it's not too early to be thinking about the All-Star team, especially since fan voting began weeks ago. The Western Conference forwards situation is always crazy, but this year it's particularly nuts. By my count, there are 14 former all-stars playing forward in the conference, and only four of those (Pau Gasol, Shareef Abdur-Raheem, Juwan Howard, Kenyon Martin and Peja Stojakovic) are out of consideration this year. Add to those 9 names the following guys who have never made an all-star team, but are having HUGE years: Carmelo Anthony, Carlos Boozer, Lamar Odom and Zach Randolph. That's 13 guys playing forward in the Western conference (most of them 4's, btw) who deserve legitimate consideration this year. 14 out of 15 teams (all save the Warriors) in the conference have a former all-star or an all-star caliber forward on their roster.
Maybe for the sake of everyone involved, we can have a split Western Conference squad in Las Vegas this year. I mean, no disrespect to Bosh, Okafur, Rasheed, Jermaine and Howard, but c'mon. Those guys make the Eastern Conference team by default. Just split up the Western guys, put LeBron on one team and DWade on the other, and let's have an all-star game featuring the guys who deserve to be there.