Shootaround Access: Wolves vs. Warriors | Nov. 6, 2013
Brewer, Iggy Looking Forward To Matchup Tonight
Wolves forward Corey Brewer only played one season with Andre Iguodala in Denver last year, but the two spent enough time together to develop a strong bond on and off the court. The two sat next to each other in the Nuggets locker room, and on the court their speed and athleticism played perfectly into what George Karl tried to implement with his running style.
Now, for the first time since both left Denver this offseason, Brewer and Iguodala will meet on the court as the Wolves host the Warriors at Target Center. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. on Fox Sports North and 830 WCCO-AM.
After a year of facing one another in practice, these two know one another’s tendencies well.
“Corey’s a good dude—he’s one of those guys that can sneak up on you,” Iguodala said. “So being able to play against him every day, seeing him play, it helps you have a respect for him and it helps when you’re guarding him in a game. He can cut, he’s a smart player. He shot the ball very well last year—the last couple of years.”
The Nuggets won 57 games last year, including a 38-3 record at home, and wrapped up the third seed in the Western Conference thanks to a collection of talent crashing the boards and running a fast-paced style. It was a productive gameplan for Brewer, who really found his niche as a sixth man during his time in the Mile High City.
The combination of Iguodala and Danilo Gallinari on the wing coupled with Brewer off the bench kept teams running and off balance. By season’s end, Iguodala averaged 13.0 points per game and shot 45.1 percent from the floor, while Brewer added 12.1 points in 24 minutes of play and hit 42.5 percent of his shots. Gallinari added 16.2 points.
That crew, mixed with the creative Ty Lawson and aggressive Kenneth Faried kept Denver in contention and gave them high hopes for the postseason.
But the Warriors crushed the Nuggets’ plans. Golden State won their first round series 4-2 over Denver and advanced, while the Nuggets watched Iguodala head to the Warriors, Brewer to the Wolves and re-arranged their front office/coaching situation.
That leads us to tonight, where the Warriors—already a trendy pick to improve on their Western Conference sixth seed last year—enter with a bolstered starting five that includes Iguodala on the wing. When they’re completely healthy (Harrison Barnes has not played this season due to a foot injury), they’ve got a strong starting core and some athleticism off the bench.
Brewer said the Warriors won that playoff series last year on the sharp-shooting of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson as well as Barnes’ performances and the healthy dose of bench play. But with Iguodala, the Warriors have the chance to be even more dynamic.
“They can take Steph off the ball,” Brewer said. “Those to little guys running around shooting 3s, and having Iguodala with the ball—he’s kind of like a point forward. It kind of makes him better.”
Brewer said the Wolves have to get back on defense tonight to stop this team in transition, because they do like to push the pace. Part of slowing this team down is forcing that sharp-shooting back court to put the ball on the floor.
“You have to make them drive. You have to make them put the ball on the floor,” Brewer said. “You can’t let Klay shoot, can’t let Steph shoot, because more than likely it’s going to go in.”
And, of course, Brewer will likely get some time going head-to-head with his friend, Iguodala, whom he said is a good guy who can really play.
Is there a little personal flair involved, given the two former teammates know each other so well?
“There will definitely be bragging rights,” Brewer said, smiling.