As I understand it "camp" refers to something that is so bad and distasteful that it becomes appealing by way of irony. Watching last night's game versus the lowly Clippers, it dawned on me that the Wolves are in possession of the very first camp professional player in the history of the NBA: Corey Brewer.
Mr. Brewer is impossible not to watch. He is a wicked combination of moments of stunning brilliance immediately followed by moments of unreal incompetence. In each and every single game you can be certain to see a professional basketball player miss a shot, flub a pass, or mangle a dribble in ways which you cannot possibly imagine before turning on your television. You can also be certain to see a 6'8" toothpick move much faster than you first thought was humanly possible while blocking shots, stealing balls, grabbing impossible rebounds, and causing havoc within the reach of his awesomely long arms. I am not sure if John Waters has a favorite NBA player, but if he does, the former Gator is surely it.
In 37 minutes of action against the Clips, Brewer scored 14 points on 6-21 shooting. His shots included the final airball of the game, (which was called in advance by boss10), kamikaze drives to the hoop that had no chance of falling, and the occasional silky-smooth pull-up jumper off of a screen that no opposing player has the combination of speed and length to keep up with. The amazing thing about Brewer's shot selection is that he doesn't really take a lot of bad shots. This seems impossible but it is not. I have no idea how to explain it other than to point to the fact that he is such an interesting athlete and intelligent player that he has no shortage of situations where he is in exactly the right spot to get good looks. From being the fastest 6'8" player in transition to being the most versitle athlete in the 1/2 court, Brewer, for the most part, takes shots that absolutely have to be taken. He just happens to be such a terrible shooter that every attempt is an adventure.
Adding to the so-bad-it's-good brilliance of his overall game is his typical 2009/10 off-ball stat line. Last night Brewer grabbed 3 offensive rebounds, dished out 6 assists, stole 5 balls, blocked 2 shots, and ended up with a +1 during 37 minutes in a losing effort. If anything, he was more disruptive than this line suggests. He crashed passing lanes he had no business crashing; he flashed off his man to double unsuspecting Clippers; in every imaginable way, Corey Brewer made interesting things happen on the court.
I know that the Wolves can't really market one of their own players on the basis of his weird combination of brilliance and incompetence, but if you are a fan of basketball there are few players more entertaining in the NBA right now, and none of them are a good watch for the reasons that make Corey Brewer a can't-miss attraction. If you watch the Wolves you are almost guaranteed to see something that you have never seen before on an NBA court; whether that is an impossibly missed layup or a steal that you did not see coming...well, that's part of the fun and #22 will quickly become one of your favorite players to watch.
As for the rest of the game:
- The Wolves ended the game without using a timeout on their final possession. I wasn't paying a lot of attention to the post game Kurt Rambis interview but I believe I heard something along the lines of the team not having practiced in-bounds plays because they have been focusing on the new triangle offense. Did anyone else hear this?
- For the second game in a row, Ramon Sessions took what is rightfully his: the starters' minutes. For the second consecutive game, he was the Wolves' best guard by a long shot. What happens when a team drafts a potential star point guard who won't come to the league for a few years, follows that up with a guy who can play right away, and then finishes it off by signing a guy who is better than the guy who can play right away? Flynn will have his ups and downs but if this were a quarterback controversy, the promising young draft pick just is now dealing with a lower-round draft pick who worked his way into the starting lineup.
- Ryan Hollins can float. He doesnt' just jump high, he floats.
- Hollins was fouled on his last-minute dunk over hillbilly Chris Kaman with the Wolves down by 3. Hollins does his fair share of fouling but the refs blew a call that should have given Hollins the opportunity to tie the game at the line. The action was best described in our game thread: