Thunder guard Brewer questionable for opener against Utah
ABS-CBN Sports on Apr 14, 2018 07:28 AM
Corey Brewer NBA file photo
By Cliff Brunt, Associated Press
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Thunder might be without starting shooting guard Corey Brewer for their first-round playoff series opener Sunday (Monday, pHL time) against Utah.
Brewer sprained his right knee during Oklahoma City’s regular-season finale against Memphis. He did light work Friday (Saturday, PHL time) and didn’t practice.
Another Thunder shooting guard, Alex Abrines, is in concussion protocol. He was injured during a win over the Miami Heat on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) and didn’t play against Memphis. The reserve averages 4.7 points per game and has made 84 three-pointers this season.
Coach Billy Donovan said he’s not sure if either will be ready for the opener.
“I don’t know that yet,” he said. “We’ll have to get closer to that. I don’t want to speculate either way. Every day, we’ll find out a little more.”
The Thunder added the 32-year-old Brewer after the All-Star break to fill the void left when Andre Roberson was knocked out for the season with a ruptured left patellar tendon. Brewer started 16-of-18 games with the Thunder and posted averages of 10.1 points and 2.1 steals per game. Oklahoma City is 11-5 with him as a starter.
The injuries could force 19-year-old rookie Terrance Ferguson into a more significant role. Ferguson has 12 starts this season and averages 3.1 points for the season. He’s an explosive dunker and an improving three-point shooter.
“Eighty-two games, I think, has helped him,” Donovan said. “He’s obviously been able to be in the rotation. I think that was really important during the year.”
Donovan didn’t say how he would adjust if Brewer and Abrines are unavailable. He said Ferguson’s mental approach will help him if he is given more responsibility.
“He’s done a really good job of keeping himself ready and focused,” Donovan said. “Obviously, the playoffs are new for him. This is the first time he’s going through it. I’ve got a lot of confidence in Terrance just because of his competitiveness and how hard he works, and he’s a bright guy and will put forth a great effort getting himself prepared and ready to play.”