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NBA Finals 2011: Dallas Mavericks Should Try Corey Brewer on Miami's Dwyane Wade

DALLAS, TX - MAY 17:  Corey Brewer #13 of the Dallas Mavericks reacts in the first half while taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game One of the Western Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center on May 17, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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Andy BaileyFeatured ColumnistJune 7, 2011

To the utter dismay of this Dallas Mavericks fan, at the moment, it looks like the Miami Heat are about to be crowned the 2011 NBA champions, and Dwyane Wade will almost certainly be the Finals MVP.  

Dallas's defense has done a great job on everyone else (including LeBron James and Chris Bosh), but Wade's dominance has led to this 2-1 hole they find themselves in.

With two games left in Dallas and potentially two more in Miami, it's time for the Mavericks to try something drastic in an effort to slow Wade down.

Corey Brewer was signed by the Mavericks during the middle of the regular season after the New York Knicks bought him out and he cleared waivers. The move was sold as one that would bolster Dallas's depth, particularly on defense.

As a two-time national champion and the No. 7 pick in the 2007 draft, Brewer came into the league surrounded by a decent amount of hype.  He was billed as a long, athletic player with some solid upside.

While he may not have panned out to the extent that some thought he would, Brewer had established a reputation as the best defensive player on the Minnesota Timberwolves and one of the better perimeter defenders in the entire league.

Again, that's why Dallas signed him.  But right now, it doesn't look like the team has much interest in Brewer's talents.

He didn't play much in the regular season with the Mavericks (11 minutes a game in just 13 appearances), and has seen his role decreased even further in the playoffs (six appearances for a total of 23 minutes).

Dallas's biggest issue right now is finding someone other than Dirk who can score, but slowing down Dwyane Wade wouldn't hurt either.  Corey Brewer at least has a shot at doing the latter (it looks like Jason Kidd just can't stay in front of him right now).

Brewer is still the long (6'9" wingspan), athletic wing he was when he came into the league in 2007.  He's certainly nowhere near as crafty a defender as Kidd, but what has craftiness really done for the Mavs so far this series.

With Dwyane Wade, they need to try the "fight fire with fire" approach.  Combat Wade's quickness, explosiveness and speed with someone who may be superior in those areas.  

Brewer's physical gifts would help him keep Wade out of the paint for easy buckets and would also help him contest jump shots that have been wide open to this point in the series.

Is plugging Brewer in a drastic move?  Maybe.  But at this point, it's time to shake things up.  He doesn't have to play 20 minutes a game, just give him some looks out there.  In the battle against Dwyane Wade, it really can't get any worse for Dallas.

And if they could somehow turn the tides in that battle, they might just win the war.

 

You can follow Andy Bailey on Twitter   @_Andy_Bailey

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