Monday, March 28, 2011

Take Dat Wit Chew: The Rice of Passage Podcast Episode 5

Oh, hello, it's been a while. Last time we talked the Mavericks were at their season's apex. Now, not so much. Are you willing to relive the last few weeks? Will you listen to the whole thing to find out how to win the special prize? Break out some tissues and listen to the latest episode of Take Dat Wit Chew.

Figure out how to download the .mp3 here

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Defense? Defense!

I'll start off with this: I fully believe the Mavericks played two of their worst games of the season this weekend against Utah and Phoenix. What makes my brain numb is that Dallas, a team that struggles to win by more than five or six points, won by 17 and eight in both games respectively. For a majority for both games, the Mavs were sloppy, lifeless, careless, apathetic and downright bad.

Honestly, it was brutal basketball to watch. I won't blame you if you switched off the channel and started watching the Desperate Housewives of Oak Cliff (which if it isn't a show, it should be). The Maverick offense that seemed to find its footing since the return to a full lineup (minus Caron Butler) was a complete mess. Jason Kidd returned to his early season hibernation, Jason Terry was plagued by the ghost of playoff pasts, Shawn Marion developed a nasty case of "Erick Dampier" hands and the one constant, Dirk Nowitzki, struggled to hit shots that I presume he could hit with his eyes closed.

About two weeks ago, these two games would have been epic meltdowns of epic proportions. The kind of losses that would of exploded the interwebs with nasty headlines and hashtags about the #oneanddoneboys. But for some reason unbeknownst to me, the Mavericks displayed a defense on Saturday and Sunday night that (at times) resembled the defense we all were giddy about in December.

Against Utah in the fourth quarter, Dallas held serve to allow the Jazz to score a frosty 17 points. I don't care how many possessions there are in a quarter, 17 points is atrocious for an offense. Against Phoenix on Sunday, Dallas held the Suns to a frigid 16 in the fourth and didn't allow the Suns to break 20 points in either quarter of the second half. There were some holes to be found such as the complete lack of pick and roll defense in the first quarter, and the Suns missed some open threes, but in the second half the Mavs were impressive.

Most impressive was the work done to Steve Nash. After allowing Nash free reign in the first quarter, Dallas finally bottled up and took a stand. When defending the pick and roll, there is no room for waffling. Both the on-ball and help defender have to be in the same boat: either trap the ball-handler aggressively and rely on rotations from the weak side, or fight through the screen and the help defender shows for a second before returning back to his man. Going halfway in which neither of these options is fully realized is how the Mavs got in trouble in the first quarter. Roddy Beaubois and Tyson Chandler weren't on the same page, with Chandler hovering in "no man's land" -- He wasn't recovering to the roll man or aggressively hedging the ball-handler, just waiting in between as he wasn't sure what Beaubois was trying to do either, stuck in basketball defense purgatory. The result ended up in Marcin Gortat scoring 12 first quarter points, a majority from Steven Nash's seven assists. Once the Mavs switched who was guarding Nash with a more experienced Jason Kidd or Jason Terry, the communication picked up and the rotations tightened.

The best way to cut off Nash on his pick and roll is limiting his options when he gets underneath the basket. At least two or three times in the fourth, Nash went aggressively off the screen and towards the baseline, with Chander having to check Nash. What was beautiful was Dirk or the other weak side defender picked up the roller, and the defender on Nash rotated out to a shooter Nash was looking for on the strong side. With his options cut off in front of him, Nash's only options were to kick out behind him to a shooter on the opposite baseline, which would be impossible with Chandler all over him underneath the basket. The results were some awkward, forced reversed layups that were weakly attempted. The Maverick's did something few teams do to Nash -- they flustered him, to the point that he was uncomfortable making decisions on a play he has run over a thousand times.

There's no telling if the defensive efforts of the past week can hold up to more accomplished teams such as San Antonio or Los Angeles, but some progress is better than no progress. Less than a month ago, there were complaints about the Mavs' defense against teams like the Timberwolves, Sacramento and Toronto. To see the defense hark back memories of pre-Butler-injury Mavericks, it can only mean well. Sustainability is key, but the fact that Dallas is headed in a positive direction defensively for the first time in weeks coincides nicely with the playoff run.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Free Corey B?

Here's a quote from a piece a week or so ago when I broke down two specific players (one of which was of course, Corey Brewer) the Mavericks could be searching for on the waiver wire:

Both these players obviously have their flaws: they're on the waiver wire for a reason. Let's not overstate what one of them could bring to the Mavericks this year. Both will be filling out the final roster spot and hell, there are rumors that Sasha Pavlovic might stop by again. Neither of these players will have a lasting impact other than perhaps swinging a regular season game or two.

I stood by that claim. After all, the Mavericks really were looking for someone to fill out the final spot on their roster. So as I look at the public outcry of minutes for freshly signed Corey Brewer, I can't help but giggle a bit. I can't think of what people were legitimately expecting from Brewer, considering Rick Carlise's rotation patterns. But that was with a full roster. A full roster with a healthy Peja Stojakovic and Shawn Marion should only allow Brewer to play spot minutes for foul trouble or match-ups. Brewer only saw a handful of minutes in his first few games, which could only be expected for a bottom of the barrel mid-season acquisition adjusting to a new system.

Maybe I drank the kool-aid a bit much. I haven't seen Brewer play in person too much and had to rely on outside opinions to formulate my own. Rob Mahoney and Henry Abbott really drew me in. I bought into Corey Brewer shutting down Kobe in the final 20 seconds of Game 6 of the Western Conference Semis. This isn't to say that the opinions of these fantastic writers are wrong, false or misjudged. Far from it. The opinions expressed were fully-formed and logical. Which baffles me why Brian Cardinal (yes, Brian "The Janitor" "Custodian" "Garbage Man" "Dump Truck" Cardinal) saw minutes at SMALL FORWARD instead of Brewer when both Stojakovic and Marion went down with injuries.

Brewer has seen three of the dreaded DNP-CDs. Those three games were the losses to New Orleans, Portland and San Antonio. It's hard to imagine what Brian Cardinal brings to the table at the small forward other than floor spacing and taking charges. Again, this is no knock on Brian Cardinal since he's done more than what should be expected of a player in his position. But how Brewer hasn't seen any time whatsoever with the injuries to Peja baffles me to a degree. But as much as there is to gripe about Brewer's playing time, he hasn't shown much of anything in his limited time on the floor.

In Brewer's first game he picked up five fouls in a little over five minutes of play. His next game was a huge improvement, with only three fouls in just under nine minutes. Brewer even managed by the graces of the basketball Gods to only foul 11 times in his next 45:72 minutes played. The fact that we're celebrating this defines how badly Brewer has been fouling in his short stint. There in lies the problem -- the coaching staff can take all the blame for Brewer's lack of minutes or rotation time, but when Brewer checks into a game (usually halfway through a quarter) he puts the Mavericks into the penalty in only a few minutes.

There's no way Rick Carlisle can have faith in Brewer when he is that much of a liability to the team when he is on the floor. Defensive stalwort he may be, but Brewer picking up three fouls in four minutes isn't helping anyone. That's all on Brewer and it is up to him to impress the coaching staff continuously in practice and show he can perform on the court like his reputation suggests. Until then, it wouldn't be beneficial to the Mavericks to have Brewer on the court for long stretches in games.

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Deciphering Tyson Chandler's Defensive Impact

Tyson Chandler is a so-so individual defender. I said it. There's no going back, so I might as well try to explain myself for making such a blasphemous comment against the savior of this year's Maverick team and the one player who is single-handily able to erase the memory of the Erick Dampier era completely.

I've been formulating this opinion for a couple of months now, ever since I watched Chuck Hayes drop a couple of jump hooks over Chandler on Jan 27 and finish 8-for-10 from the floor. Now, before I begin, I'd like to first start by saying that Chandler is a fantastic team defender. His ability to cover ground after guards break down the defense is second to only Dwight Howard. Chandler cuts off lanes, rotates to the baseline and hedges on pick and rolls as good as any other big man in the league. And the numbers back it up. The Maverick defense overall is three points per possession better when Chandler is on the court. Don't forget the rebounding too, since the Mavericks have trouble in that department anyway and Chandler's ability on the defensive glass allows the Mavericks to close out the few defensive stops they do get (especially in the last few weeks).

But I don't need to be telling you this, you already know. If you want to know more, better take it from Ian Levy from Hickory High and The Two Man Game breaking down Chandler's overall team impact on the defense. He does a better job than I ever could.

What I am here for is to debate or bring to your attention the individual defense Chandler plays, 1-on-1 with another player. Not covering screens. Not rotating over after Jason Terry was caught flat-footed. Mano y mano defense.

Unfortunately there are even fewer advanced stats that back up individual defense then there is team defense. The site Synergy Sports breaks down how certain players perform in individual situations (for instance, what Dirk Nowitzki's shooting percentage is in spot-up shots and catch and shoots) that go towards defense. But being the starving artist that I am, I don't have an account to the site and have to rely on the eye-test and the few (accessible) advanced stats that are out there.

First, the eye-test. It's clear that Chandler isn't the bulkiest of centers in the league, a more slim, fit, athletic type which is becoming the standard of NBA big men. Because of this, Chandler is easily pushed out of position on defense from the likes of Amare Stoudemire, Tim Duncan and LaMarcus Aldridge. When opposing post players catch the ball on Chandler, it is usually right on the block which only requires a simple jump hook or turnaround jumper and no dribbling. Chandler's biggest strengths -- speed, athleticism, quickness and vertical leaping -- are neutralized when a post player catches deep in the paint against Chandler and has a variety of release points to shoot quickly, which most above-average post scorers have. If there is one thing Chandler will have to improve, it's preventing post-players from getting deep position on the catch.

Now let's get into how some post-players have faired in games against Dallas this season. Amare Stoudemire averages over 28 points and 48 percent shooting. Tim Duncan averages 16 points and 54.6 percent shooting. Luis Scola averages 17.7 points on 55.8 percent shooting. LaMarcus Aldridge gets 31 points on 51.4 percent from the floor. Maverick killer Zach Randolph hasn't been phased by Chandler, getting 24.3 points per game on a ludicrous 61.4 percent shooting. Even Chuck Hayes, who might be the most offensively challenged PF/C in the league, averages 68.4 percent shooting against the Mavs this year.

I understand that all these players (besides Hayes) are great big men, All-Stars and former MVPs. I also understand that Chandler isn't solely responsible for the big numbers these players are putting up. Not all these players are scoring in isolations against Chandler (again, wish I had the Synergy Sports account) and this isn't taking into account guards allowing penetration and so forth. But it still isn't a great trend to see against your defensive stalwart.

Luckily, there are some numbers to back up these claims. According to, Chandler is allowing opposing centers a PER (Player Efficiency Rating) of 17.7. A 15 PER equates to an average player. Chandler also allows opposing centers to have an effective field goal percentage of 53. To compare, Dwight Howard limits opposing centers to a 12 PER and only a 46.2 eFG percentage. And Chuck Hayes, who is significantly more challenged physically in the post than any other PF/C in basketball, allows only a 16.4 PER and centers to have a 47 eFG percentage.

Ready for the heartbreaker? Bust out the tissues because Erick Dampier this season only allows opposing centers to have a 14.2 PER and shoot an eFG percentage of 46.6. Of course, Howard and Dampier are surrounded by better perimeter defenders this season, but Hayes plays on one of the worst defenses in the NBA at Houston. And, Dampier is putting up similar individual defensive numbers to his last seasons in Dallas, compared to Chandler.

Tyson Chandler is a great player and easily the Mavericks second-most important player this season. But all the talk about his impact on the defensive end is held together by tape and paper clips from the Mavericks early start to good defense this season. Dallas has now sagged to the middle of the pack in defensive efficiency. There's no doubt Chandler makes the Mavericks defense better when he's on the court. But let's no overstate how good a defender he really is. In fact, I'd argue Chandler is more important to the Mavericks offense then the defense, being a scoring option at the center positon the Mavericks haven't seen in the Dirk Nowitzki era. Dallas still has trouble with effective post-players, and Chandler shouldn't be exempt from the problems the Maverick defense has encountered over the last month.

(Editor's note: Apologies for being absent. If you don't know, I've been awarded a sports writing gig at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and for obvious reasons have focused my time to that. After getting used to my new schedule, I should be able to post more. Sorry, again for the wait.)

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Monday, March 7, 2011

Take Dat Wit Chew: The Rice of Passage Podcast Episode 4

Do you remember two days ago? Things were going pretty well in Mavland when we recorded this. Wins were plentiful. Smiles were plastered across the faces of the children. No one was questioning Rick Carlisle.

It was truly a simpler time.

Hop in your Delorean and take a ride back 48 hours to hear discussions of Corey Brewer, Jason Terry, and the state of the Western Conference.

Figure out how to download the .mp3 here.

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Sins of our Father

When the Mavericks were embarrassingly dropped by the Spurs last April, Rick Carlisle was burned and burned hard. Public outcries for his firing where backed up by rumors from beat reporters that Mark Cuban wasn't happy. Of course, a coaching change after a first-round exit in the NBA is always the reactionary feeling. Fans are mad. Ticket-buyers, the customers, don't want to support a flopping product. Rational minds eventually won out but there's no doubt that Carlisle lost some faith from the fan base after that series against the Spurs for the lack of playing time of Rodrigue Beaubois.

Before this season started, we were promised change. In fact, the original plan was to start Beaubois at the two and bring the much-maligned Shawn Marion off the bench . Of course, when Beaubois broke his foot in August the plan changed a bit, but there were still promises that Beaubois would be a big part of this Mavs season. He had to be, especially when he was deemed practically "untouchable" by both Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson.

His return in the middle of February delivered, showing off the blazing speed and athleticism that hasn't been seen in a Maverick uniform for years. He started off fairly strong, posting three games off the bat with 20 minutes, 19 minutes and 22 minutes respectfully. The ability to lead fast breaks from rebound to layup was there, that breathtaking speed that kicked the Mavericks fast break into another gear. Beaubois' three-point shot wasn't back from rehab but still, averaging 10.7 points and 51 percent shooting in your first three games back from an injury that caused you not to play basketball for six months was fairly impressive.

That isn't to say Beaubois was perfect in those three games. Along with the flashes of brilliance were the head-scratching turnovers and the inability to stay within the context of Dallas' defensive schemes. Too many times Beaubois is obliterated in the pick and roll plays, being engulfed in the pick itself or not being able to communicate when and where to switch properly. And he's the guard equivalent of Tyson Chandler when it comes to fouling. But still, it was a fairly rosy start, all things considered.

The ensuing three game stretch of rough games wasn't too much of a surpirse either. After all, any NBA player, no matter what age or talent level, has to get back into reasonable game shape or conditioning. Beaubois' legs wasn't with him against Washington, Toronto or Philadelphia, missing badly on three-pointers and being over matched defensively with teams that, while not the greatest, featured some athletic back courts and swingmen. Nothing to worry about. No need to hit the red button.

But what happened last night was peculiar. Beaubois appeared to bust out, scoring 13 points in about 12 minutes of action, igniting fast breaks and finally knocking down some threes. The Mavericks roared to a 15-point halftime lead in what seemed to be a fairly impressive win against a playoff team in Memphis.

Now, the failure of the Mavericks blowing that lead and letting the Grizzles steal a win in Dallas is no where near the fault of Beaubois seeing less than four minutes of action in the second half. Beaubois wasn't going to stop Zach Randolph from shooting 10-for-13 or keep Marc Gasol off the offensive glass. Beaubois wasn't going to be responsible for Shane Battier's offensive put-back in the closing seconds. Considering the play of everyone else, it is likely that the game still would have turned out the same.

But. There's always a but.

I can't seem to grasp how a player that has such an impact of a teams' first half (as Beaubois was Sunday night) can be completely lost and buried on the bench in the second. To be fair, Memphis was already on the train, heading to comeback town when Beaubois checked out early in the third (a 17-point lead had been trimmed to nine). But how could Beaubois not see a couple of minutes at the end of the quarter? Or perhaps some in the fourth? Mind you, I'm not arguing that Jason Terry shouldn't have seen the floor, since he was incapable of missing throughout the fourth quarter (even if the person he was guarding seemed incapable of missing as well). Again, I'm not arguing for why Roddy should have closed the game. I'm arguing why he was deemed inadequate in providing a spark that Mavericks desperately needed in the last five minutes of the third quarter.

Carlisle after the game was very vague and unclear with his answer, saying the Mavericks were going with players who at the time were going to help them win the game. I guess scoring 15 points in 14 minutes doesn't help. Especially when you consider that Jason Kidd was largely ineffective with both controlling the offense and supplying his own. I understand the importance Kidd can have on a game without scoring, but last night wasn't one of those games (six assists and four turnovers). I would have liked to see, if only for a  few minutes, both J.J. Barea (who was very effective offensively and well, poopy to say the least defensively) and Beaubois in the back court, to see if some energy could have been instilled into the lineup.

I hope I worded this wisely enough to not sound like I'm overreacting to one game of 82, especially one that was won on a ridiculously high-arched Zach Randolph jumper. And I am not stating Beaubois should have played all 24 minutes of the second half or the last five minutes of the game. This is just a slight worry or fear I have that perhaps past mistakes have not yet been atoned for. I pray that I am very naive in this thinking.

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Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Importance of Depth

With the signing of Corey Brewer official today, by my count the Dallas Mavericks are the deepest team in the league. A quick rehash of the final depth chart for this season (I won't include Jason Terry or Roddy Beaubois as back up point guards or anything as to not confuse you. But yes, Terry and Beaubois can run the point if something happened to both Kidd and Barea):

PG: Jason Kidd/ J.J. Barea
SG: Rodrigue Beaubois/Jason Terry/DeShawn Stevenson
SF: Peja Stojakovic/Corey Brewer
PF: Dirk Nowitzki/Shawn Marion/Brian Cardinal
C:  Tyson Chandler/Brendan Haywood/Ian Mahinmi

Now, don't get my wrong, depth is great. It is what helps you sneak in a win on a back-to-back, or when your starters don't feel like playing that Sunday afternoon game in Toronto. But look at that depth chart above. Aside from Brian Cardinal and DeShawn Stevenson, couldn't you realistically see each of those players getting 20 minutes in a game? What happens in the playoffs, when rotations are supposed to be cut short?

I did some slight digging and looked at every championship roster from now till 2000. At most, team's had seven players who played at least 20 minutes. In some cases it was six and in three cases (two of the Lakers titles in the early 2000s three-peat and the 2004 Detroit Pistions) only had five players who averaged at least 20 minutes. No team had eight players average 20 minutes a play game.

In the playoffs, rotations shrink. Starters play between 35-40 minutes a game and you rely on your horses -- not bit players -- to get you to the title. I bring this up because I'm not sure I understand where the minutes are going to come from come May. Let's just throw out DeShawn Stevenson and Brian Cardinal. What happens when Chandler needs a breather and Brandan Haywood decided he wants to be mopey Brandan Haywood. Do you really play Ian Mahinmi? It's OK to play Mahinmi, a center who is very athletic, energetic but a bit raw, over 20 minutes against the Raptors or maybe the Wizards. But against the Lakers in the second round of the playoffs? Or the Spurs in the Western Finals?

I've said before, role players are role players because they have a particular niche or trait that is nice in short bursts, but when played out can be exposed for the other flaws in their game. For instance, if Jason Terry isn't lighting it up from outside, he isn't of much use for his average defense for 30 minutes in a tight playoff game. Same goes for Peja. If Kobe Bryant is dominating over Corey Brewer for an entire first half, then he doesn't provide much else for you to play him in the second half. It is nice to know however, that now the Mavericks do have enough role players to surrond Dirk with that they can match up to any situation.

Need shooters when Dirk is triple teamed? Just run out a lineup of Kidd, Terry, Peja and Chandler. Terry's not hitting? Then put in Beaubois or Terry. Need to get to the rim? Repeat previous step. Kobe Bryant taking out his frustrations on Peja? Slap Brewer or Marion on him. Manu and Richard Jefferson terrorizing on the wings? Put Brewer AND Marion out there.

Flexibility and depth aren't a bad thing, but it just hasn't been the number one factor for a team winning a championship. I guess we should consider the deepness of the Mavericks roster a safety net and know that if the Mavericks are every sucker punched or surprised by an opponent in the playoffs (San Antonio 2010, Golden State 2007 and Miami 2006) there will be multiple options to go instead of freaking out and moving to another hotel. Yeah, I'm still bitter.


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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Help Wanted

UPDATE: Both Mark Stein and Adrian Wojnarowski are reporting that Brewer HAS signed with Dallas. Links here and here. Interestingly enough, it is a multi-year deal that will start at $2 million, according to Stein. Feel free to use this post now as a forum about Brewer and digesting more about the new Maverick.

The NBA waiver claim period is a mystical, magical time. It is a fantasy world where bit role players are MVPs, draft busts become x-factors and old, washed up veterans become locker room presence.

Maybe because this is my first full year plugged into Twitter, but it seems worse than ever before. Troy Murphy's decision to come to Boston almost felt like a mini-LeBron "Decision." He's a nice post-player that can stretch the floor and rebound, but let's not act like Boston just found another Dirk Nowitzki off the scrap heap. The Miami Heat wrangled in Mike Bibby, presumably, so they can be even worse at defending point guards.

Which brings us to where the Mavericks plan to put their stake in this waiver claim race. The two names most intriguing and most realistic are two swingmen that are only the same in position only: Corey Brewer and Kelenna Azubuike.

I have some slight negative bias towards Azubuike, mainly because he skipped out on an autograph session after I attended one of his Ft. Worth Flyers games (and yes, it is as incredibile as it sounds) the now defunct D-League team. But getting past my seven year grudge, Azubuike has actually put up some  quality numbers in a somewhat large sample size. In 2008-2009, the only season Azubuike was able to average 30 minutes per game in his career, he put up 14.4 points per game while shooting 44.8 percent from three. Impressive. But then you take into account that he played on the ridiculously paced Golden State Warriors and found himself heaving up threes more often than other NBA players. Inflated his points may be, shooting almost 45 percent from three isn't transparent. If you can shoot, you can shoot and Azubuike can shoot. Unfortunately this is where the "like Peja..." comparisons start. Once Azubuike gets the ball, he isn't likely to give it up with only 1.7 assists per game for his career and a career assist percentage of 6.9. Azubuike can rebound decently for a two-guard, with a 9.0 total rebounding percentage, which puts him right around Peja's marks and above other Maverick guards like Jason Terry. Not amazing, but nothing to worry about.

I decided to check and see how much Azubuike got to the rim, and was surprised to find that he averaged 3.7 shots at the rim per game in that 2008-2009. It's a bit misleading though, since Golden State's up and down pace helped lead to plenty of leak outs and fast breaks. His defense isn't anything to covet either, but again, we're talking about a bit player. He's a guy that can spread the floor like Peja can, but not be outmatched athletically in cases such as the Toronto game, where Peja wasn't hitting and couldn't stay in front of any of the Raptors athletic swing men.

Corey Brewer's game is perhaps opposite of Azubuike's. Brewer can't shoot. And I mean he really, really, can't shoot. A career 40.6 percent shooter from the floor and, brace yourself, 31.3 percent from behind the arc. How do you stay in the NBA without being able to do the most basic function of basketball? Defense. And lots of it. Brewer stands a lanky 6-9 and his extreme quick and athletic ability has led him to frustrate plenty of opposing small forwards and shooting guards. Brewer's been able to play sound defense on a shoddy defensive club, like Minnesota has been since Brewer arrived, so it is easy to overlook the impact he makes on the defensive end.

He plays the passing lanes, averaging 1.8 steals per game for his career and a ridiculous 2.4 (EDIT: this is per 36 minutes) this season before being shipped to New York. He gambles probably more than he should, but more often than not, he gets results.

Unfortunately, that's about all the superlatives you can heave Brewer's way. As mentioned he can't shoot and almost more alarming is his rather dreary rebounding skills. Brewer for his career averages only 3.3 (3.3!!!!!) rebounds per game, an absolute, no-good, terrible, bad number for someone that has the length and athleticism Brewer bestows. His career total rebound percentage is even uglier: 7.3. How about this -- his current season's total rebounding percentage this season is 6.1. That ties him with Steve Blake, Ray Allen and James Jones to name a few. Hell, even Jarret Jack is grabbing a higher percentage of available rebounds while he's on the floor. To wrap it up, Corey Brewer is almost a worse rebounder then he is a shooter and that's really, really tough to do. Bravo Brewer, I guess.

Not to mention that Brewer's only redeeming quality (defense) is being put to question, as Zach Lowe of Sports Illustrated calls out the slippage that Brewer is facing defensively. But Brewer does have one redeeming quality that I will always love him for, which is this:

Putting your crouch in Derek Fisher's face is definitely in the top three of my list of things to do that will endear you forever to my basketball soul.

Both these players obviously have their flaws: they're on the waiver wire for a reason. Let's not overstate what one of them could bring to the Mavericks this year. Both will be filling out the final roster spot and hell, there are rumors that Sasha Pavlovic might stop by again. Neither of these players will have a lasting impact other than perhaps swinging a regular season game or two. It is up to the Mavs what they want more: another shooter to step in when Peja is cold and is more athletically gifted or a defensive minded, long small forward who can jump the passing lanes and out of the gym. And also brick shots. Many, many shots.

(Once again, the lovely sites Basketball Reference and HoopData provided the stats)


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