The NBA: Where Corey Brewer Happens
What a long, strange journey for our favorite TWolves stick figure. We drafted him. He was not good. We traded him. He won a championship. He goes to Denver, spends some time in George Karl's freelance offense a mile above sea level, he comes back to 'Sota, and BAM. All of a sudden he's on a list with some of the most prolific players to ever set foot on a professional basketball court.
Consider for a moment what a strange win this was. No Love, no Pek, no Martin, nothing to play for except pride, and they come out and down a team that desperately needs to keep winning (ceding home court to the Blazers would be really not good for Houston) behind a 51 point outburst from a guy who is averaging 11.7 points/game this year.
Everyone was in shock. The press was in shock. The crowd was in shock. The rest of the team was in shock. The Rockets were in shock. Adelman was in shock.
Consider too the performances in this game that would be headline on any other night. Harden finished with 33-8-10 and attempted 19 free throws (he had 12 at halftime. HALFTIME) Dante turned in 20-13….arguably the finest game of his professional career. Gorgui Dieng put up another 20 rebound night against Houston and chipped in 12 point, including the game winner. And credit the guy for the poise he showed….he fumbled the initial pass and still had the presence of mind to check the clock and realize he had time to gather his feet under him. No rookie mistake. No panic, no pressure.
No pressure. If I missed that, we'd go to overtime. So there was no pressure.
And yet. 51. Five. One.
Those of you who were tracking me on Twitter tonight (and man, was that ever fun to run in this one)got the running commentary on Brewer's night, and well....
Brewer with the circus shot. Classic Brewsist except it actually goes in— canishoopus (@canishoopus) April 12, 2014
Bre??wwe??rr?????? Cross overs? Spin shots? What even— canishoopus (@canishoopus) April 12, 2014
Brewer up and under. What are reverse Brewsists called, mien Hoopusters??— canishoopus (@canishoopus) April 12, 2014
Brewer with the half court buzzer beater. He leads everyone at the half with 26. Yes. Twenty-Six. At halftime. It's Timberwolves— canishoopus (@canishoopus) April 12, 2014
Corey Brewer has found Michael Jordan's miracle Space Jam water tonight. 30 and counting— canishoopus (@canishoopus) April 12, 2014
I mean, this is a guy who couldn't dribble out of a paper bag his rookie year. This was a guy who's jumper couldn't hit the broad side of Montana. This is a guy who's random crashing about inspired a new word in our regular vocabulary and a drinking game. And he knows it. He knows he was bad. He knows the fans have gotten on his case. Four years ago this site collectively started counting down the days until he washed out. Four hours ago he joined a list of legends.
19-30 shooting. 11-15 from the line. 51 points, 6 steals, genuinely ticks off one of the most talented wings in the whole league (believe me, Harden was looked like he thought Brewer blew up his house or something) The crowd screamed when he hit 40, got on their feet and screamed when he hit 50, and nearly rioted when Dieng hit the game winner. It was an absolute suspense of disbelief….like the Target Center existed in an alternate universe for 2-1/2 hours. Everyone was stunned. No more perhaps than Corey himself.
Of all the guys to walk through the doors to that locker room and put on a Wolves' jersey, Brewer has probably taken the most heat. More than Wes, more than Wally, more than Rasho, more than even Flynn. But he's never let it get to him. He puts his head down, he works hard, and tonight was his night.
For one game at least, long athletic smiles really did count for something.
- Brewer's 51 is the new franchise record for regulation play, and ties him with Love's 51 from the double OT thriller against OKC.
- This felt like a very Adelman win. A band of blue collar, severe underdogs battling it out with a giant. Keon Clark. Luis Scola. Chuck Hayes. If he's good at any one thing, it's getting shocking results from shorthanded rosters.
- I ran an impromptu (and unannounced) Twitter contest to determine Gorgui Dieng's nickname. By popular retweet:
- I can see now why McHale starts Beverly with Harden instead of Lin. Remember that talk we had about competing usages? Yeah. When Harden has the ball, Lin doesn't do anything. When Lin has the ball, Harden just jacks up threes. Beard HAS to have the ball. That means the point guard has to be an off-the-ball shooter.
- I tweeted my fear that Morey will turn Asik into Paul Millsap this summer.
- Chandler Parsons: 27-7-7. Fun fact: we held his draft pick and sold it for cash.
- Luc played 27 minutes tonight and while he shot just 1-8, he did an excellent job of mucking up Harden's game. Beard should have been T'd up for his outburst after Mbah a Moute drew the offensive foul on him in the fourth quarter.
- This was about as noisy as Target Center has ever been. Strangely enough it started off noisy well before anyone realized we were going to see something special, but by the end, damn….they could probably hear it at Target Field.
Real talk. This is one for the ages, Hoopus. I sincerely wish each and every one of you could have been in the building tonight, because I will never forget the game I just saw. It wasn't the best game I've ever been to. But it was most definitely the coolest.