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Mavericks/Pacers Shootaround Report: Brewer Has Arrived

Your first look at the newest Maverick, Corey Brewer (credit to Brad Townsend)
Your first look at the newest Maverick, Corey Brewer (credit to Brad Townsend)

The Dallas Mavericks look to extend their winning streak to eight games as they will take on the Indiana Pacers on Friday Night at the American Airlines Center. A brief series recap shows that Dallas has won nine of the last 11 meetings with Indiana. The Mavericks have won six in a row at home against the Pacers. 

The connection between the Mavericks and the Pacers is that Rick Carlisle coached the Pacers for three seasons (2003-07). He amassed a 181-147 (.552) record with Indiana, while leading the team to three straight postseason appearances. Mavericks forward Peja Stojakovic played 40 games for the Pacers in 2005-06, after being traded from Sacramento to Indiana for Ron Artest on January 26, 2006.

In the last match-up on January 12 in Indiana, the Pacers snapped a five-game losing streak against the Mavericks with a 102-89 win. Dirk Nowitzki, who averaged 27.0 points and 5.5 rebounds against the Pacers in 2009-10, was inactive (sprained right knee) for the first match-up with Indiana this season. Alexis Ajinca started at power forward for the Mavericks. Jason Terry led Dallas in scoring with 18 points off the bench.

The Pacers (27-33) have lost five of eight since opening 7-1 under interim coach Frank Vogel. Indiana has lost seven in a row on the road versus West Conference opponents. The Indiana's last season sweep of Dallas was 2003-04.

Corey Brewer went through his first shootaround with the team and will be active in the game against the Pacers due to Tyson Chandler being out with his sprained right ankle. Carlisle mentioned that the forward went through some additional work on Thursday afternoon after he signed with the team. Carlisle would not commit to saying that Brewer would play. "If we get a defensive situation where he can help us, we’ll put him in there," Carlisle said.

Brewer (6-9, 188) was originally the seventh overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves. He holds career averages of 9.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 25.7 minutes in 232 career games (147 starts) with Minnesota. Brewer played in 79 games (35 starts) as a rookie for the Timberwolves in 2007-08, but sustained a torn anterior cruciate ligament 15 games into 2008-09 campaign that cost him the remainder of the season. He returned for the 2009-10 season to start all 82 games and average career highs in points (13.0), rebounds (3.4), assists (2.4) and minutes per game (30.4).

The former University of Florida standout was a two-time national champion with the Gators in 2006 and 2007 and was named Most Outstanding Player of the 2007 NCAA Tournament. In three years at Florida, Brewer also won three Southeastern Conference Championships to go along with two national titles and recorded the first triple-double in Florida basketball history on Dec. 18, 2005.

This season, Brewer has played in 56 games averaging 8.6 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.6 steals in 24.3 minutes before being traded to the New York Knicks as a part of the 12-player deal that also landed Carmelo Anthony in New York. Brewer joins the Mavericks after the Knicks requested waivers on him on March 1.

Brewer said that the Boston Celtics and the San Antonio Spurs were two major teams in the race, but the Mavericks presented the best opportunity to have him make an impact and that made the decision for him. "Just to have a chance to play with a winner," Brewer said as he explained why he chose the Mavericks. "They’re winning now, they’re a good team," Brewer continued. "Guys like Jason Kidd and Dirk Nowitzki, it’s a great opportunity for me to come in and help defensive." As mentioned above, Brewer was a two-time national champion with the Florida Gators. It has been a while since he's been in a position to be chasing a title and he's looking forward to being a part of the Mavericks organization. "You always want to be a winner," Brewer said. "Once you taste winning, you want to keep winning. I haven’t won since I got in the NBA. I’m happy to be on a winner."

Rick Carlisle said that Brewer is not just a defender. He mentioned that he is a great runner and an improving shooter. Those things are true, but Brewer knows what his overall strength is, "Just bring energy, come off the bench and play hard," said Brewer. "I can help defensively and guard people. That’s what I do."

Dirk Nowitzki mentioned on Thursday that Jason Kidd should go a long way in making Brewer's transition onto the team easier based on his knowledge of the game and leadership. "I think the big thing is that he brings something to the table," Kidd explained. "He’s athletic, can play above the rim, can get out and run, he can defend and he can knock down shots. So, for that, when he’s out on the floor, that’s exactly what we’re gonna ask him to do. But, again, this is our shootaround, so we’ve got to work him into the fold."

The Mavericks will key in on Danny Granger based on his ability to score in a variety of ways. They will throw multiple bodies at him in an attempt to contain him. They will also look to take away any open three-point looks and send extra help defense towards Granger because he will be aggressive early and often. "They’re playing extremely well and they’re a dangerous team," Kidd said of the Pacers. "They can put a lot of points on the board and they play hard, so we’ve got to take care of business."

The game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Indiana Pacers will tip off at 7:30 pm CST.


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