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Saturday, March 26, 2011
Is time running out on Corey Brewer?

By Jeff Caplan

SALT LAKE CITY -- Corey Brewer and Dominique Jones were the last two Dallas Mavericks on the Energy Solutions Arena floor as the rest of the team headed for the bus.

Brewer and Jones were shooting with coach Rick Carlisle. Jones, who is recovering nicely from a broken foot, knows he won't be playing any time soon. Brewer can only wonder.

The 6-foot-9 small forward apparently won't get a chance tonight against the depleted Utah Jazz. As of the morning shootaround, Brewer said his understanding is that he will be inactive for a second consecutive game. It will mean that in the last nine games, Brewer will have either been inactive or a DNP-CD (Did Not Play-Coach's Decision), five times. In the other four games, he played a total of 41 minutes.

"It's tough, yeah," said Brewer, who joined the Mavs on March 3 and has played in seven of 11 games. "But, that's the NBA."

Brewer chose to come to the Mavs and signed a three-year contract. Upon being traded from Minnesota to New York and then being released by the Knicks, at least a half-dozen teams showed immediate interest in signing him, including the Boston Celtics, San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder.

Brewer's second choice?

"Celtics," Brewer said.

How might things have been different for Brewer had he gone to Beantown? It's impossible to know. The Celtics traded at the deadline for forward Jeff Green, a front-line starter for the Thunder who now plays 22 minutes  a game off the bench behind Paul Pierce.

The Mavs will have 10 games left after tonight, so time for Brewer to earn playing time prior to the playoffs is shrinking. Add the fact that the team will have little practice time during this six-game road trip and Brewer will have few opportunities to make a greater impression.

With Shawn Marion and Peja Stojakovic both healthy, suddenly there's little room at a position that had been a swinging door ever since Caron Butler went down Jan. 1.

For a long, lanky forward who figured to give the Mavs another defensive option against wing scorers, Brewer certainly didn't expect to come in and start.

He also didn't think he would be wearing a suit on the bench.