Sloan and Thibodeau taught Brewer, like all their players, to how to respect the game and be a professional.
“Any time you see their players, they always have that same professionalism and toughness and respect for their team and their teammates,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “And Brewer is the same way. Just talking to him today, you know that he has that serious approach about the game and about what he brings to the team.”
Martin and Kevin Durant, two of the Thunder's top three scorers, both said they hated playing against Brewer. His length and powerful 6-foot-7 frame, they said, give scorers fits. His defensive instincts, meanwhile, make it a must that opponents stay sharp.
Not mentioned were Brewer's smarts, something he prides himself on.
“It's all about paying attention to detail,” Brewer said of defense. “As a player, you might not really think that's that serious. You make a turnover, or you might allow a guy to get an offensive rebound and get a tip-in. But every point counts. Every mishap counts, in the playoffs and down the stretch.”
Fortunately for Brewer, he's joining a team the he believes already understands that the small things add up. It should help him come in and, as he said, get in where he fits in, rather than have to put the team's defense on his shoulders.
“This team has been able to go really far in the playoffs and have some success,” Brewer said, “and I think those guys understand a play here or a play there can be the turning point of winning and losing and winning a championship.”