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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