When Elton Brand says he's hurt, you take his word for it. After all, the things that make Brand say, "Ouch," are enough to incapacitate a mere mortal. Brand is tough as they come and there is no need to look any further than the fact that he played through a nearly torn Achilles tendon during the latter parts of the 2008 season to get it.

But that's not the half of it. Last spring during the playoff series against Miami, Brand walked around sporting four red horizontal scratches on the left side of his neck that looked as if the fresh finger prints from the culprit were still intact. A forensics team wouldn't have to do much to lift the prints in order to find out who they belonged to.