DALLAS _ If the Dallas Mavericks advance deep into the playoffs this year, it may be because of a shrewd move they made back on Mar. 3.
The decision to sign small forward Corey Brewer.
Everyone associated with the Mavs agree that Brewer is unlike any other player to play with this franchise in recent years. He’s wiry, athletic, energetic, extremely active at both ends of the court, and doesn’t mind sticking his nose in dirty places and diving for loose balls.
Brewer is, in essence, just what the Mavs need in their quest to win the franchise’s first-ever NBA title.
“He’s different than any other guy we have,’’ coach Rick Carlisle said. “That’s the reason we signed him.
“He’s a smart kid. He picks up on things.’’
Before signing Brewer, the Mavs wrestled with the idea of inking Sasha Pavlovic, who had signed a pair of 10-day contracts with Dallas earlier this season. But management decided against it because the Mavs had recently acquired Peja Stojakovic, who is a larger version of Pavlovic.
“Pavlovic was an option, but he was kind of similar to Peja,’’ Carlisle said “And so the decision was made to go in the other direction because (Brewer) was a young player that we felt had more upside as well.
“And all those things have been true and come to be accurate so it’s been good. It’s a very, very positive signing.’’
In last Friday/s 107-96 win over the Los Angeles Clippers, Brewer scored a season-high 20 points, six rebounds, four steals and four assists in 30 minutes. That came after he scored 13 points and collected three steals in 20 minutes during Wednesday’s 104-96 loss to Denver.
“I like what he’s done the last two games and I want to see more,’’ Carlisle said. “Even when he wasn’t playing he’s an energetic guy that worked.
“He’s great to be around and he’s getting better.’’
Before coming to the Mavs, Brewer (6-9, 188) spend his first three-and-a-half seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves, where losing became a way of life.
Asked if all that losing and no postseason experience may affect Brewer when the playoffs start next weekend, Carlisle said: “Does he look to you like a guy that would be concerned about anything like that?’’
-- Dwain Price
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