Elton Brand and Bernard King
Elton Brand on offense bears a striking resemblance to the great Bernard King, who had a stretch under Hubie Brown with the mid-1980s Knicks where he was an unguardable, ridiculously efficient scoring machine. That’s Brand today, right down to the in-your-face, unblockable jumpshot with the unorthodox release. Brand’s release is more behind-the-head than King’s, while King’s was a tad quicker and sometimes would come while King was still rising. Both guys are deadly off the dribble from 10 to 15 feet.
King was a great scorer from the get-go, while Brand didn’t reach greatness until this season. He’s always been very good, but this is the season he perfected his midrange jumper. Couple that with heightened mobility from dropping 20 pounds and you wind up with a legit MVP candidate.
Two big edges he has on King is on the boards and as a swatter. King was a fine rebounder as small forwards go, but Brand is a power forward and boards like one. He’s also an elite shot blocker, both as a helper and on his own man. What a wonderful player. Great guy, too.