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Thursday, March 17, 2011
Marion to start and Brewer to do what?

By Jeff Caplan

When Rick Carlisle gave Corey Brewer his first start Wednesday night, it was first viewed as Carlisle wanting to re-establish his successful bench rotation with Shawn Marion and Jason Terry as the Dallas Mavericks entered the game having lost four of six and two in a row.

The Brewer experiment didn't last long. He was back on the bench after less than six minutes with his man, super-quick Golden State Warriors guard Monta Ellis, having scored six points and the Warriors leading 19-7. That would be all for Brewer, who never even took off his sweats Tuesday night at Portland.

Despite Carlisle's insistence that he likes what the 6-foot-9 Brewer brings, the coach certainly doesn't seem to like it enough to put it on the floor with any consistency.

In fact, after the game, Carlisle said starting Brewer was simply to give Marion a little extra rest after he logged 38 minutes at Portland. Marion has been extended of late with usual starting small forward Peja Stojakovic having missed the last five games with a stiff neck.

"That’s the reason I didn’t start Marion because he played 38 minutes last night," Carslisle said. "We got a look at some of these guys that we have. I had to see Brewer in a starting role. We’ll keep looking at things. We’re far from settled and we’ve got a lot of work to do."

Brewer hasn't worked out the way many believed he would as a solid wing defender. He's averaged just 8.5 minutes in six games played with two DNP-CDs. Brewer has 14 games remaining to show that he can be a rotation player in the postseason.

It is assumed, but certainly not guaranteed that Stojakovic will return to the starting lineup if and when he's healthy. It is not known if he'll be ready to play Friday against the San Antonio Spurs. Stojakovic did not travel on the two-game road trip.

Marion has certainly made a case to remain in the starting lineup.