Even smart basketball fans, that is, ones who know that Kobe shoots too many times, that it's better to have Stephen Curry than Monta Ellis, that every time Dwight whines a small galaxy is destroyed, remain visual viewers. So as long as Elton Brand was missing shots, he looked like a terrible acquisition.

Even as he grabbed 11 boards against Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol on opening night, 12 against Nene, two weeks later. And they weren't really wrong. The Mavs actually could COMPLETELY use a player like Omer Asik, or at least like Omer Asik was last year, a no-offense defensive force, but Brand is a few years from being that kind of defensive player. Even if, last year, according to mysynergysports.com Elton allowed just .04 points per play more than Asik, he doesn't have the mobility to make up for the mistakes of wing defenders like he once did.

But as long as the 10-footer was MIA, there wasn't much point in paying attention to what Brand was doing well. Now, however, aside from a weird Carlisle game where Brand played less than 9 minutes against the Nuggets, Brand has averaged better than 60% shooting in 6 of the last 7 games, 8 of the last 10. And so, like a magic spell, it is suddenly possible to see how well Brand is doing on the other end.