Coming in to the season, Rockets fans had high hopes for Corey Brewer and the rest of the Rockets bench. I mean, after all the bench duo of Brewer and Josh Smith saved the Rockets season against the Clippers and was actually able to contribute to meaningful victories. People around the league were even applauding Daryl Morey for stealing Brewer from the Timberwolves.
Then this season happened. Man, someone will have to do a study on what happened to Brewer over the past 10 months. Brewer went from scoring 11.9 points per game last season to a paltry 7.2 points per game this season. Now Brewer has never been regarded as anything resembling a three point shooter, but he shot 10% from three in this year's playoffs! Brewer actually went from March 25 to April 27 without making a three pointer! That's over a month people! Brewer was so bad in the playoffs that Rockets twitter couldn't bear to see J.B. Bickerstaff blindly throw him on the court in favor of K.J. McDaniels. Here is just a taste of what it was like watching Brewer in these past playoffs:
Me When Corey Brewer goes to scorers table pic.twitter.com/IridnlkClU— Bryson Jones (@RedNationBlogga) April 27, 2016
Second half about to start and tons of people still on the concourse. Maybe they're also trying to avoid watching Corey Brewer play?— House Of Houston (@HouseOfHouston) April 22, 2016
Looking at his advanced statistics, Brewer's drop off is most noticeable on offense. This season Brewer posted a -2.2 Offensive box-plus minus, which dropped to a horrifying -8.1 in the playoffs! One could argue that JBB only continued to play Brewer to guard Shaun Livingston who was torturing Rockets guards in the post, but there was another younger, more athletic viable option in the form of K.J. McDaniels right behind him. It physically pained Rockets fans to have to watch Brewer shoot 26% from the field on his way to averaging 4.4 points per game against the Warriors.
Brewer is well regarded (or used to be at least) for his defense and play in transition. However, his defensive box-plus minus dropped from -0.3 last season to -1 this season, which even dropped to -1.7 in the playoffs. Brewer, like the rest of the Rockets, seemed to have no interest and ability to defend throughout the majority of the season. If it sounds like I am simply ranting about Brewer's play, I apologize but it's literally impossible to defend any aspect of his performance this season. He was dreadful on offense, and very sub-par on defense. Oh and that transition game he was so well known for? Let's just say that too wasn't pretty to watch this season:
The best thing about the end of the season will be not having to see Corey Brewer running around like a chicken with his head cut off.— Justin Faudree (@SmoothsHoops) April 28, 2016
So, where does Brewer fit into the Rockets future? Sadly, he will be returning next season barring a series of very unlikely events that includes a GM of another team doing recreational drugs and trading for Brewer. Why do I say this? Well for two reasons: first, as I have clearly outlined throughout this article, Brewer was terrible this season in essentially all aspects of the game of basketball. Second, he just signed a 3 year/$23 million contract that will see him earn over $7 million for the next two years. If a GM wants to take on that contract (even with the salary cap rising significantly), please be my guest.
Rockets fans, we will just have to hope and pray that Brewer drinks some of the secret stuff from Space Jam and recovers to his 2015 playoffs level. If he does, we will surely welcome him back with open arms. If not, prepare to invest in some strong coping methods when you watch Rockets games next season.