From back to back collegiate national titles with Florida, a college esteemed for their athletics, to slumming with the Minnesota Timberwolves, an organization esteemed for being the laughingstock for an entire league.
People say the transition from college to the NBA can be rough. Its doubtful Corey Brewer expected it to be that rough, though.
Brewer showed he was able to adjust, though, and not just by trading his swimsuits in for winter coats. His rookie season was probably disappointing for a lottery pick, and his second year was derailed by an ACL injury, but in 2009-10, Brewer looked like he might have figured it out, scoring 13 PPG while shooting 43%, while racking up 3.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.4 steals. Not only had Minnesota become a home for him, but he was the head of the household, becoming the longest tenured Timberwolf on the team (along with Ryan Gomes and Al Jefferson) despite only being in his third year.
Everything went south this season, though, for one reason or another. He was included in the three team blockbuster Carmelo deal and went to New York. For a moments, Brewer said he thought New York could be a home for him, and even Knicks fans were excited about his inclusion in the deal. However, the Knicks bought him out, and there he was again, homeless.
As everyone probably knows, the Mavericks pounced when Brewer became available, beating out the Spurs, Celtics, and Thunder for his services, in part thanks to giving him a 3-year deal worth $8 million. So here he is; what now?
Certainly, his last two games are two he can build on. After six games of DNP-CD's, all while receiving one-on-one tutelage from Carlisle himself, it appears Brewer is ready to contribute with a firm grasp of the Maverick schemes. Wednesday night against Denver, Brewer was able to put up 13 points on nine shots while adding three steals, and Friday's game against the Clippers he had a statline of twenty points on 8/16 shooting, while accumulating six rebounds, four assists, four steals, and a high flying block in the fast break.
Expecting double digit scoring from Brewer nightly would be foolish moving forwards, as Sunday night showed. Brewer showed that he can score in a variety of ways, and though there will be nights where he brings nothing, there will also be nights where he can be a weapon, being utilized in a Shawn Marion-esque role. He has to ability to slash and cut into the lane, and feels comfortable putting the ball on the floor and taking the ball to the hole. In small doses, his jump shot can even be an added dimension, but Brewer's game centers around the basket. According to 82games, Brewer has taken 56% of his shots in and around the basket so far as a Maverick, and his career numbers are not too far behind that. This offensive change of pace may prove to be a difference maker in certain games -- no doubt its a welcome change from what the Mavericks usually do -- and there's no doubt that Brewer is one big throw down away from energizing a team to a victory.
Defensively, though, Brewer will be just as valuable. Shawn Marion is a great wing defender, and for most of the year the wing defender Carlisle would go behind Marion was DeShawn Stevenson. However, with Stevenson's dramatic falloff that puts him in danger of riding the pine during the playoffs, Brewer has a chance to take his role. He combines tough defense with a savvy ability generate steals (seven in those two games) and draw charges (Brewer once drew six in a single game with Florida in college, a game he later went on to record a triple double in).
And do not forget that Brewer is only 25, and was signed to a three year contract. He's not a old veteran whose just filling minutes, but actually a player who still has room to grow. The Mavericks are hoping Brewer can help in the upcoming playoffs, but his impact might just last longer than that. Corey Brewer might just have found his new home.
(author's note: MMB readers, you guys are fantastic. I've had a very busy schedule the past few months, but things are beginning to clear up some. For that reason (among others), I am planning on being more active than ever to bring you guys even more content and analysis. There are some pretty awesome things that I have planned for the coming months, the first of which is a massive end of the season breakdown featuring answers from of MMB's authors. It'll be just like the Mid Season Report, except bigger and better. Part one will likely drop Tuesday, so stay tuned!)