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    Dissecting a fantasy miracle
    Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - If you've been tossing and turning at night wondering when Timberwolves forward Corey Brewer would explode for 50 points in a game, the wait is finally over.

    Also, you must not be getting very much sleep.

    I'm declaring Brewer's 51-point outburst Friday against Houston the biggest sports upset of the year. You heard me, Shabazz Napier. Even bigger than UConn.

    How could Brewer, an afterthought in all but the deepest of fantasy leagues, suddenly morph into Superman overnight? And if Brewer really is a basketball god among mortals, why did it take us so long to notice?

    As baffling as Brewer's performance was, I actually have a decent explanation for it. Care to hear it?

    1. Dwight Howard wasn't in uniform

    Howard returned to action Saturday against New Orleans but prior to that he had sat out eight consecutive games with an ankle injury. The Rockets haven't been an especially good defensive team with Howard in the lineup (101.8 ppg, 18th in the NBA) but without him, they're absolutely dreadful.

    Including Friday's loss to Minnesota, Houston has allowed 112.5 ppg in ten games without Howard this season. It's no wonder Brewer was able to go berserk.

    2. Neither were Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic

    Injuries limited the Wolves to eight players Friday night, which is probably why Brewer was able to hoist up a career-high 30 field goal attempts. Love and Pekovic have been the focal points of Minnesota's offense all season, averaging 31.7 shots per game between them.

    While playing alongside Love and Pekovic, Brewer has averaged 9.0 field goal attempts per game (56 contests). Without them, that total rises to 12.4 (22 games). Now are the 51 points starting to make more sense?

    3. Look at where he was shooting from

    Brewer seemed to be on a mission Friday night. His mission? To shoot the ball from as close as possible.

    A whopping 19 of his 30 field goal tries came from directly in front of the basket. And he made 16 of them (84.2 percent). That's 24 percent better than he's shot from that distance in his other 77 games this season (258-for-447). This again goes back to the Dwight Howard factor as fill-in center Omer Asik clearly wasn't intimidating Brewer in the low post.

    4. He got to the line

    Brewer made 11 of his 15 free throw tries. His career-high in ATTEMPTS prior to Friday's game was only ten. In fact, Friday was just Brewer's second game with double-digit free throw attempts in 464 career contests.

    The 15 shots Brewer took from the charity stripe were as many as he had in his previous six games combined. It makes you wonder why he doesn't try to get to the line more often.

    5. His teammates were feeling generous

    The Timberwolves have averaged just under 24 assists per game, fifth-best in the NBA this season. Ten of the 22 dimes they recorded Friday went to Brewer including three from J.J. Barea and two each from Ricky Rubio and Gorgui Dieng.

    When your teammates are looking to set you up, the game's a lot simpler. Usually Rubio and company are looking to feed Love but clearly the game plan works just as well with Brewer on the receiving end.

    Favorable circumstances certainly contributed to Brewer's historic outing but that shouldn't take away any of the luster. Only a handful of players have ever reached the 50-point threshold. Now Brewer can say that he's one of them.




    Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Jesse Pantuosco at jpantuosco@sportsnetwork.com.

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    Welcome to Great38 Tampa Bay WTTA-TV/DT - WFLA News Channel 8

    Welcome to Great38 Tampa Bay WTTA-TV/DT - WFLA News Channel 8

      Great 38: Win tickets to Daytona 500

      Updated:

      Here's your chance to win tickets to the 2015 Daytona 500. Entering is easy, simply fill out the entry form included. More>>

      • Great Stuff

      News Now: Media General CEO talks about his career, future for company Video included

      Updated:

      In December, LIN Media and Media General merged to create the second largest broadcasting company in the country. The former CEO and President of LIN Media, Vince Sadusky, was placed at the helm of the new and improved Media General. More>>

      Bill Schifino, Jr talks about being President-Elect of the Florida Bar Video included

      Updated:

      Earlier this month, Bill Schifino, Jr. was announced as the 2015-16 President-Elect of the Florida Bar. Schifino comes to this position with a strong resume. More>>

      Trio sets off on 900 mile trek across Florida Video included

      Updated:

      Joe Guthrie, Mallory Lykes Dimmitt, and Carlton Ward Jr. are embarking on a journey of a lifetime. The trio are setting off on a 70-day, 900 mile trek across the state???without any automobiles.
      More>>

      How this guide dog helps one blind triathlete chase her Paralympic dream

      Updated:

      Every time Paralympic hopeful Amy Dixon makes it to the end of another grueling triathlon, she knows her trusty companion will be waiting for her at the finish line. Sixteen years after she lost vision in her right eye, which she says she viewed as "a death sentence" at the time,  More>>

      Legoland Florida hotel to open in spring; built for kids

      LEGOLAND Florida photo LEGOLAND Florida photo
      Updated:

      Legoland Florida Hotel will welcome its first guests a month earlier than previously expected.During an announcement Thursday, Legoland executives announced May 15 as the revised opening date.  More>>

      3 rhinos escape from safari zoo, return safely Video included

      Updated:

      Three rhinoceroses escaped from their site at a safari zoo in Israel this week, NBC reported.  More>>

      VIRAL VIDEO: Bossy 4-year-old girl feeds 6 pit bull dogs

      Little Girl Controls Pit Bull Dogs | Future Dog Trainer, Jukin Video on YouTube Little Girl Controls Pit Bull Dogs | Future Dog Trainer, Jukin Video on YouTube
      Updated:

      A video of a very authoritative 4-year-old girl feeding six very obedient pit pulls in the middle of a kitchen has gone viral on the web and is prompting a heated debate about the pit bull breed.
      More>>

      8 fun things to do in Tampa Bay this weekend | January 17-18 Video included

      Updated:

      See 8 fun things happening this weekend in Tampa Bay!
      More>>

      'Birdman,' 'Budapest' top Oscar nominations with 9 nods each

      Updated:

      Two extravagant comedies, "Birdman" and "The Grand Budapest Hotel," tied for the most Oscar nominations Thursday morning with nine nods each, including best picture. More>>

      Out and About
      Powered by WorldNow

      200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

      Telephone: 813.228.8888
      Fax: 813.225.2770
      Email: news@wfla.com

      Can???t find something?
      Powered by WorldNow
      All content © Copyright 2000 - 2015 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.