It's no secret that Elton Brand has struggled in this series. But 76ers coach Doug Collins said he won't take the power forward out of the starting lineup.

He said that's mostly out of respect for what Brand has done over his 13-season career.

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

Collins was quick to add, however, that he can pull Brand early. He has done that during this series. Brand has averaged just 16 minutes per game in the first three games, along with 4.7 points and 3.0 rebounds per game.

Collins didn't wait long in Game 4, either. He pulled Brand and Spencer Hawes with 9:08 left in the first quarter and the Sixers down 12-0.

Brand has been playing with a sore neck, which he suffered during the first-round series against the Bulls.

His play would indicate that it's still bothering him.