Corey Brewer says he will play Game One on Sunday

Corey Brewer, OKC Thunder (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
Corey Brewer, OKC Thunder (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** /

The OKC Thunder received more fantastic news on Thursday when Corey Brewer made an announcement.

Is this what it feels like to have the Basketball Gods on your side? As the OKC Thunder cruised to their final victory of the regular season, a near-travesty occurred. Corey Brewer, Oklahoma City’s new favorite son, crumpled to the court after a flying Mario Chalmers fell into his knee during a three-point attempt.

It didn’t look good at the time. Honestly it still doesn’t look all that great. But somehow, some way, Corey Brewer plans on playing Sunday. Well at least that’s what Shams Charnia has to say.

If this is true the Thunder truly are blessed. Losing Brewer would deplete OKC to a shooting guard depth that consists of:

  1. Alex Abrines (in concussion protocol)
  2. Terrance Ferguson
  3. Josh Huestis

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell you that’s not Playoff-worthy. While all these players can contribute at times, none of them are truly worthy of heavy minutes on that atmosphere. That’s okay – they’ve been groomed to be role players this season.

Why Brewer is crucial in the Utah series

Corey Brewer’s known for his energy on both ends of the floor. He’ll provide an alright sporadic second option to throw at Donovan Mitchell, and his near-constant motion will be valuable in a Utah offense that is built on a concrete system. But his true value?

His ability to vastly push the Thunder’s tempo. Brewer ranks second in the NBA in PACE at 103.56. His 103.26 rating is easily the highest on an Oklahoma City team that boasts a 99.25 PACE rating, good for 16th in League. The Thunder don’t play fast often, but when they do it’s usually to a certain degree of success.

That skill will be crucial going up against a slow Utah Jazz team. The Jazz are the fifth slowest team in the League as their goal is to slowly grind you out a la San Antonio. They have the best defense in the NBA, mainly because of the resurgence of center Rudy Gobert

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Getting Brewer out on the break and ahead of Gobert for easy buckets could truly be the difference maker in multiple wins/losses. We should be even more giddy about this news than the #4 seed.