After each Dallas Mavericks practice since he arrived, Corey Brewer has gone one-on-one with coach Rick Carlisle. The coach has him practicing a quick-step-and-shoot from the free throw line, from the wing and catch-and-shoot from the 3-point arc.
Brewer is not a great shooter.
"We’re working with him on his rhythm and his shooting and how all that fits into our system," Carlisle said.
Through six games (he was a DNP-CD vs. New Orleans), Brewer has actually never shot better: 58.3 percent overall (7-of-12) and 50.0 percent (1-of-2) from 3-point range. OK, so it's hardly a sample size to take to the bank (Brewer is a career 40.7 percent shooter from the floor and 31.3 percent from beyond the arc; and this season he was shooting 38.4 percent and 26.3 percent, respectively), and Carlisle hasn't exactly shown supreme confidence in the 6-foot-9, fourth-year forward out of Florida to throw him out there.
In the five games he's played, Brewer logged seven minutes or fewer in three. He played 10 minutes and 17 minutes in the other two games.
Saturday night against the Lakers, Brewer entered the game at the 11:30 mark of the second quarter and 20 seconds later he was on the free throw line. Four minutes later he buried a 3-pointer. Three minutes later he missed a 3-pointer, picked up a foul and was replaced by Dirk Nowitzki. Brewer would not be seen again.
There was certainly excitement within the franchise when Brewer chose the Mavs over a handful of suitors and signed a three-year deal. Adding another long player with a defensive mentality to guard dangerous wings in the playoffs seemed to be only a plus for the Mavs. But, for Brewer to be a plus, he will have to play.
In the three games Peja Stojakovic has missed with a stiff neck, Brewer has played zero, 17 and seven minutes. Against an athletic Portland Trail Blazers team that got more so with the trade deadline addition of Gerald Wallace, Brewer would figure to be in his element. Same can be said for Wednesday's game at the Golden State Warriors.
But, that will up be up to Carlisle.
"A guy like him can be effective in any game," Carlisle said. "He is going to be an option that I’m going to look at it in these two games. Exactly when and where I don’t know. [DeShawn] Stevenson is still in the picture very much. I’ve made it clear to him that he’s got to continue to be ready and they’re going to be some games where we need both of those guys at the same time."