Corey Brewer / SF/G to Dallas:
What he brings: A young, athletic and energetic defensive wing to defend the likes of Kobe.
How he can directly affect the Lakers chances: If you had to start from scratch and build a player to guard Kobe Bryant, the final product you would come up with is a player that possesses all of the physical traits and abilities of Corey Brewer. Brewer is a long 6’8″ who is super athletic and has a ton of energy which is a product of his youth. He is limited offensively but his role on this team will be the defensive stopper for players like Kobe Bryant and Mano Ginobli.
Prior to acquiring Brewer the Mavs already had an abundance of swing men; Brewer will join Shawn Marion, Caron Butler and DeShawn Stevenson in the group of players that Dallas will have at their disposal to stick on Kobe Bryant. The depth at this position will allow Dallas to provide sufficient rest to each player being given the assignment of guarding Kobe, which is ideal for high energy, harassing defense for a full 48 minutes. Dallas will also be able to give Bryant multiple looks throughout the game by switching defenders which will prevent Bryant from figuring out his opponent in a game or series.
We have seen how long and athletic wing players have affected Kobe in the past. In the 2004 NBA Finals against Tayshaun Prince of the Detroit Pistons, Kobe shot a horrid 38% from the field and an even worse 17% from behind the arc. Last year’s NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics, Kobe shot 40% from the field due to contributions defensively from Tony Allen. Corey Brewer is in same mold of those players that have shown to be very effective against Kobe in the past which could mean trouble in the series for the Lakers if someone else on the team doesn’t step up offensively.
This is by far the most substantial of all the late waiver signings and one that can have a major impact on the Lakers title hopes because of the amount of times that the two will face each other this season. The Lakers have two games remaining on their schedule against the Mavericks and there is a high possibility that the two will meet up in the playoffs. As it stands now the Mavs and Lakers are in a battle for the second and third positions in the West respectively; both teams are unlikely to catch the Spurs for one spot with only around 20 games remaining, and I can’t see either team dropping to the fourth spot.
Outside of a major upset in the first round the Lakers and Mavs stand to match up in round two of the playoffs. Dallas is hoping that Brewer will provide that extra push to finally break through the Lakers dominance of the West.