Keys to the Wolf Den: Corey Brewer's Potential, Part 2

Timber WolfAnalyst IIMarch 4, 2010

ATLANTA - APRIL 02:  Corey Brewer #2 of the Florida Gators celebrates after defeating the Ohio State Buckeyes during the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship game at the Georgia Dome on April 2, 2007 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

I think Corey ought to grow his hair out again.

All jokes aside, Corey Brewer has been the biggest surprise for the Wolves, hands down, point blank.

I had written numerous articles on Corey Brewer during the offseason, stating that he would have a breakout season due to the lack of wing play and guidance under Kurt Rambis who had tremendous visions for him. I was also mocked and made fun of, but now it appears that I was right, and Corey is indeed having a breakout season.

Not only is it just his true first season with consistent minutes, but Brewer along with Jonny Flynn have been the only two players to start every single game for the Wolves.

Stats wise, everything has improved except his free throws. His points have doubled, rebounds are matching his career highs, and he's already compiled more assists in his first 60 games this season than he has for his first 84 games of his career. He has already surpassed his blocks totals in a season and steals in a season, all of this while learning the triangle offense.

But it's not the stats that impress me; it's the rate of improvement.

At the beginning of the season, Brewer was criticized for not being able to do a lot of things on the court. Everything from shooting, handling the ball, finishing at the rim, playing defense, playing well in the triangle, just about everything you could think of, Corey Brewer was to blame.

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Now? You cannot say those things anymore. Don't get me wrong, Brewer has a lot of room to improve, but there have been flashes of Brewers game that have a lot of people starting to take notice.

He's knocked down at least one three pointer in 26 straight games, that's the third highest in the NBA as of this day. But his efficiency is the reason why you have to take notice. In these 26 straight games with at least one three pointer, Brewer has attempted 111 and has hit 48 of them—that's 43 percent! That would have ranked him in the top 10 in the NBA if not for his previous attempts prior to his 26 games.

In his first two seasons, Corey Brewer had only hit 12 three pointers in 84 games, shooting 25 percent. That means his volume and percentages have taken a spike, yet as head coach Kurt Rambis states, "He's still not where I want him to be as a shooter."

His flashes haven't come in mere stats but certain moments he's had that shows you that Corey Brewer might not only become a legitimate player in the NBA, but possibly he'll become a legitimate starter with All-Star potential.

He once had an intense matchup with Kevin Durant, in which they guarded each other and both shined.

Kevin Durant: 31 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals in 41 minutes

Corey Brewer: 25 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 5 steals, and 1 block in 41 minutes

Notice how each of them played the exact same minutes? I'm not saying that Corey Brewer is Kevin Durant, but in that game, Brewer rose to a different level of himself and played outstanding defense (held Durant scoreless for 10 minutes one stretch), while doing some solid scoring on his own.

Recently, in the game against the Dallas Mavericks, Corey Brewer put up 24 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals. Although he only shot 6-16, the fact is that Brewer's shots and attempts in crunch time were a very hard cover, and it even had the Maverick's announcers say something along the line of, "You have to watch out for Brewer; he at times can be very dangerous."

As the Wolves inbounded the ball, down five points with less than 30 seconds to go, the ball was received by Kevin Love, and Corey Brewer didn't hesitate to run without a screen, receive the ball, shoot a turnaround jumper that was contested very well, and swish it down.

Looking at his physique—standing 6'9'', 185 pounds—it's easy to see why he's skinny; I mean Ramon Sessions weighs more than he does. People are going to start to realize that Brewer might be goofy looking on his handles, has some insecurities at times, and is a bit of a loose cannon, but the potential is starting to really gel for him, and if he adds on some weight like he's already stated he was going to do, and work hard on his game like he did this previous summer, the Wolves have a long-term spot filled at the small forward spot, and that's Brewer.

Thanks for reading!