Brand replaces Wright in Mavs' starting lineup

DALLAS -- The Mavericks' best banger is in the starting lineup against the Bulls.

Elton Brand will start at center instead of Brandan Wright.

That's clearly an attempt by Rick Carlisle to prevent the Mavs from being overpowered by Eastern Conference bullies for the second consecutive game. The Pacers had a 55-34 rebounding edge in Thursday night's rout at the AAC, and the Bulls play a similarly physical style.

The slender, 6-foot-10 Wright started the last four games and has been a major factor in the Mavs' March success (10-5 record). However, he was a nonfactor against Indiana, finishing with four points and three rebounds in 22 minutes. Brand had five points and a team-high eight rebounds in 21 minutes against the Pacers.

This is the Mavs' 22nd starting lineup of the season.