Corey Brewer is enjoying the change of scenery – and the chance to compete for another NBA championship.
A rebuilding Minnesota Timberwolves team traded Brewer to the contending Houston Rockets on Dec. 19.
Brewer has responded by being a vital contributor off the bench for Houston, averaging 10.9 points per game in his first month playing alongside James Harden and Dwight Howard.
Brewer was a contributor to the 2010-11 Dallas Mavericks team that defeated LeBron James’ Miami Heat in the Finals, James’ first season in South Beach.
While Brewer seemingly fell into a favorable situation, Joakim Noah hasn’t been as lucky.
Injuries to Derrick Rose have hindered the Chicago Bulls’ ability to compete in recent seasons – seasons that have seen Noah arguably hit his prime.
The center, who is currently out for the Bulls with an ankle sprain, has seen success in his time playing professional basketball.
The reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year is missing one thing, however, that Brewer has – an NBA Championship.
If Noah recovers from the ankle injuries that have plagued him this season, the Bulls are a legitimate contender in the weaker Eastern Conference.
The former Gators with perhaps the best shot to win an NBA title this season are Al Horford of the Atlanta Hawks, and David Lee and Marreese Speights of the Golden State Warriors.
Horford was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week after recording his first career triple-double against the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Hawks sit at first place in the East at 34-8.
Lee and Speights have provided strong post play for a Golden State team that has the best record in the NBA (33-6).
Lee has missed several games this season with a hamstring injury, but appears to be rounding into form after scoring a season-high 18 points in Saturday’s win over Brewer’s Rockets.
Speights has been the first post player off the bench, and has played well when filling in for the oft-injured Bogut. The Warriors face Corey Brewer and the Rockets tonight at 10:30.
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Houston Rockets guard Corey Brewer (33) dunks the ball during the first half Houston's 110-98 win against the Indiana Pacers on Jan 19.