Souhan: Brewer returns to Wolves as stopper on defense

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 31, 2013 - 11:53 AM

Corey Brewer looks the same. He can still dive head-first through a chain-link fence without scratching anything but ears and toes, and he still plays defense like a caffeinated TSA agent conducting a patdown.

What was different for Brewer in the first game of his second career as a Timberwolf was that when he touched the ball, it went in the basket more often than it bounced off his leg.

On opening night at Target Center, Kevin Love played like the star the Wolves need him to be, and Brewer played like the veteran role player they signed him to be.

Brewer made a go-ahead tap-in late in regulation. With the score tied and time running out, he stopped Orlando gunner Aaron Afflalo 1-on-1 to send the game to overtime.

He made another go-ahead bucket in overtime, and grabbed the game’s last rebound, spiking the ball at the end of a 120-115 victory over the Magic.

“He was terrific,” Wolves coach Rick Adelman said. “He really covered the court. He really streaks out there.”

Well, Brewer doesn’t exactly cover the court. There are swizzle sticks that cast bigger shadows. He does know his role, one reason Adelman finally settled on Brewer instead of a more gifted youngster to start at the small forward position.

Brewer is a defensive player on a unit that includes four offensive-minded players, and he’s a sprinter who can benefit from Love’s uncanny outlet passes and Ricky Rubio’s aggressiveness.

“[Kevin] and Ricky throwing outlet passes?” Brewer said. “I’m going to get a lot of layups this year.”

Brewer finished with 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting. He had three rebounds, two assists, three steals and three turnovers. His plus-minus rating of plus-six was second on the Wolves only to Love’s plus-nine.

“If you watch me play, I shoot corner threes, and I get layups,” Brewer said. “I don’t take bad shots. We’ve got too many offensive weapons to take bad shots.”

Brewer barely touched the ball for the first seven minutes of the game. Then he scored on a three-pointer and a twisting layup on consecutive possessions.

Late in the second quarter, Brewer saw Love grab a rebound, and took off. Love’s long pass was deflected. Brewer gathered it in by the free-throw line, drove hard, made the layup and drew the foul. His three-point play gave him 10 first-half points.

“That’s the type of player I am,” Brewer said. “I learned playing in Denver the last few years to get ’em quick. Get ’em when you can get ’em. Because you know there were a lot of offensive weapons over there, too.”

The Timberwolves took Brewer with the seventh pick in the 2007 draft. He was the wrong choice for a franchise in desperate need of refined talent. Brewer won two national titles with Florida by playing with energy. The Wolves had dealt with so many problem players that they overvalued Brewer’s positive character traits, including work ethic, hustle and a history of winning.

Brewer did not play to the level of a No. 7 pick. He wound up with the Dallas Mavericks, where he won a title despite not playing in the clinching game.

In Denver, playing for George Karl, he put his intensity to use. In Karl’s Formula One system, he was allowed to take three-pointers and push the pace. His career points-per-game average remains under 10, but he scored 12.1 per game last season with the Nuggets.

“This is a different feel than the last time,” Brewer said. “Last time, we were rebuilding. Losing, basically. I feel like this team is going to be a winner.”

Orlando’s best chance to win came at the end of regulation. Afflalo, who scored 28 points, got the ball on the right wing. Rubio feinted in, then left Brewer alone. Brewer stood his ground, then leaped, pushing his fingertips toward Afflalo’s eyes as the shot fell short.

“I love that,” Brewer said. “That’s why I get paid. That’s why they brought me back. I’ve got to play defense. I’ve got to get stops. All that matters is that one stop.’’

 

Jim Souhan can be heard weekdays at noon and Sundays from 10 to noon on 1500 ESPN. His Twitter name is @SouhanStrib. • jsouhan@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 7 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Shields 1
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Houston 85 FINAL
Miami 90
Indiana 89 FINAL
Minnesota 107
Utah 105 FINAL
Oklahoma City 91
Portland 93 FINAL
Denver 75
Phoenix 114 FINAL
LA Lakers 108
LA Clippers 97 4th Qtr 5:30
Golden State 114
San Jose 3 FINAL
Boston 5
NY Rangers 4 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 3
Toronto 5 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Detroit 1 FINAL(OT)
Montreal 2
Arizona 3 FINAL(SO)
Nashville 4
Carolina 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 3
Philadelphia 0 FINAL
Chicago 4
Vancouver 3 FINAL
Dallas 6
Florida 4 FINAL(OT)
Colorado 3
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL(OT)
Calgary 1
Arkansas State 40 FINAL
Louisiana 55
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local team are you currently most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close