By DAN KELLY
Special to ZAGSBLOG
NEW YORK – It was a wild and crazy night at Madison Square Garden in the Knicks’ 110-106 loss to the Chicago Bulls on friday..
First, Carmelo Anthony got ejected, then Mike Woodson got ejected, and then Tyson Chandler got tied up with Joakim Noah, and both were ejected.
Beyond the drama of the disappointing home loss, a concerning December trend continued for the Knicks: Ronnie Brewer can’t make shots.
The Knicks’ starting small forward went scoreless on the night and hasn’t scored more than 4 points in his last four outings.
“I have to help Ronnie,” Woodson said. “When guys lose confidence, and it happens throughout the course of the year, as a coach, and our coaching staff, we have to show Ronnie some more love. He has been a big part of what we have done, and has been a big part of us being 20-7, and I’m not going to kick him to the curb.”
The Knicks raced out to an 11-4 record in the month of November due in part to the Brewer’s offensive contributions. While the Knicks have mostly sustained their winning ways in December, going 8-3, Brewer has begun to struggle and the Knicks have lost two of their last three games.
Brewer pleasantly surprised New York fans by coming out and shooting 41 percent from three point range in his first month as a Knick. The career 26-percent 3-point shooter seemed to have finally found his shooting rhythm. And then, just as quickly, he lost it.
In the month of December Brewer has shot 4-22 (18 percent) from three point range. He bottomed out on Friday night against the Bulls going 0-4 from the floor and 0-2 from beyond the arc. Opposing defenses have begun to sag off Brewer so much that he can’t make any more of his sneaky back door cuts and the lauded Knicks offensive spacing is suffering the consequences.
Anthony (29 points) and J.R. Smith (26) have to score more when guys like Brewer and Steve Novak (scoreless) can’t.
“Tonight, we didn’t shoot the ball well, especially in the first half,” Anthony said. “We missed a lot of open shots, missed a lot of chip-in shots, shots that normally make. When you don’t make shots and you’re not stopping the other team, it kind of makes it hard out there on the court.”
Brewer is literally shooting himself off the floor and maybe out of the lineup. He’s started all 25 games this season and has averaged close to 22 minutes per game. His minutes, which have declined all month, bottomed out on Friday when he played only seven in the first half and two to open the second half before he collected some garbage seconds after Melo, Chandler and Woodson were all ejected.
The fact of the matter is that, with the exception of his 41 percent 3-point shooting in November, Brewer has never been a long-distance shooter and his inability to keep defenders honest is clogging the lane for Carmelo on drives and for Chandler on rolls to the rim. A lineup change is not likely for a 20-7 team but there are extenuating circumstances.
Amar’e Stoudemire is likely to be back sometime soon and much has been made of his potential to disrupt the chemistry of the team. But the Knicks have dropped two of their last three games and Brewer’s offensive struggles might have already changed the chemistry of the Knicks as we knew it in the first quarter of the season.
Woodson will “not kick Brewer to the curb” but the Knicks are going to look different with Amar’e and even more different with the return of Iman Shumpert, and Brewer is not doing anything to secure his spot going forward.
Follow Dan on Twitter
Follow Adam Zagoria on Twitter
Im so on the fence with this guy...first i thought i was wrong for hating this signing...calling him useless ..now i just don't know about this dude...its just not the same person 2 weeks ago....
maybe the shump thing is in his head???
i cant call it....
No offense, but we have a very current thread with 4 pages discussing the Ronnie Brewer situation. Maybe we could merge this article into that. Good find though.
The disrespect being shown to brewer and Felton lately has definitely hurt our offense in the last 3-5 games.
It seems like were working much much harder these days for points, than we use to, teams just aren't showing there scoring any respect.
When brewer and Felton shoot decent, the game becomes so incredibly easy for the rest of the team.
The Art of The 6 Inch Hook by Sugar Ray Robinson. He could ko you with his left hook only 6 inches from his opponents jaw. Greatest of all time!
With the way Brew is playing, we actually need Shump as much as we need Amare. We need a player to take some of the pressure off of Kidd, and allow him to rest. We need the perimeter defense. We need some offensive production from the starting 2, and Shump can play the 1 - allowing Felton some rest too.
If Shump comes back healthy our backcourt settles down in a way that we can overcome some of these struggles.
We need Amare (Bad), I just think we might need Shump (Badder)
My man Ike got a bad rap
brewer missed shots and now he's useless.... so people just forget about his hustle and defense.the fact he basically never gets a TO so he keeps the ball movement flowing
but the fact he's been missing at the 3PT line he's a problem now?
i can see if he was chucking all night like felton but he isn't
I think he's beng misused/underutilized in our system. Brewer should be guarding the opponents best player and should be specifically on man-to-man defense just for that opposing player. Why does Jason Kidd guard the opponent's best guard? Kobe? Mayo? Johnson?
#KNICKS TAPED PLAYOFFS 2013
Then you have Kidd guarding Artest, Marion and Crash.
Last edited by Anji; 12-24-2012 at 04:47 PM.
My Good Girl Good luck Charm
Just keeping the seat warm until STAT and Shump come back and make Woody's rotation combos easier.
Originally Posted by DoMeFavors
In 30-40 years Nets will have the most championships in NBA history, you can quote me on it. Nobody has an owner like mine.
Originally Posted by DoMeFavors
Fact is I would take Brook over Dwight, I wanted Dwight over Brook for this team because Nets have two 20 point scorers in JJ and Deron but if I was starting a team it would be Brook he is more of a franchise player.
I completely agree with those that have been saying Brewer's defense hasn't been there, JR's defense has been leaps and bounds better in my opinion. JR just has a lot better mobility right now, brewer can't even dunk the ball it seems...
That being said, I wouldn't start JR since we need his scoring with the 2nd unit. Plus, I don't know how he would handle having to go from starting to coming back off the bench, although I'm sure Woody could handle it considering their great relationship.
That being said, I don't think Brewer should be starting either. He defeats the purpose of playing small with Melo at the 4: he doesn't give us spacing (teams play their 4 on him so Melo is still going against 3s) and he doesn't give us the rebounding of a typical 4. Plus, his defense isn't his usual Brewer-level D as almost everyone here can agree.
I'd start White, Copeland, or Kurt in place of Brewer. White's D is probably on-par or better than Brewer at this point, and I trust White's shot a bit more; White would at least help with spacing a bit. Copeland definitely helps with spacing, but then his D is a question mark. And Thomas gives us rebounding but not so much spacing.
Each one of the 3 (White, Cope, KT) offers something (spacing, rebounding) that Brewer does not right now. Until Brewer's athleticism and confidence is back, I'd like to see him come off the bench.
We've been getting off to really slow starts recently, partly in due to our lack of shooting/spacing (Felton, Brewer, Tyson), and Brewer is the most obvious guy that can be replaced
The only team I can see Brewer being more useful than JR is Miami, since Brewer's size matches up better with LeBron, so I'll give you that. But even then, I'd rather have Kidd on LeBron (Shump on Wade, JR on Allen, Melo on Battier/Haslem/Lewis/whoever, Tyson on Bosh), so still, I say JR should close over Brewer.
relax. he was never much of a shooter, but more active, consistent, and defensive than fields. he's in a shooting slump, or coming back to normal.
the guy was brought here to guard the LeBron, Pierce, Joe Johnson, Durant likes. Judge him on that.
And his D has not been much better. I've been waiting all season to see the lockdown 'better than Shump' Ronnie defense all season and it hasn't really been there. I do think hes a great defender to throw on the stronger forwards like Pierce and LeBron though, and those are guys we need to get through in the playoffs. For vet min he's still a guy that should get some minutes. But I'm starting to see why he was so willing to take the vet min.
It can't be overstated how important it is for the guy in Ronnie's role to hit that corner 3 in this offense. That corner 3 is going to be wide open for whoever is playing that role in the starting unit. Ronnie hitting that was just as big a reason for our huge success early on and our recent 'struggles' or decline in overall play has directly coincided with his 3 ball (and Kidd's) not going down anymore. Ronnie hitting shots makes life so much easier for everyone else.
Last edited by D-Leethal; 12-25-2012 at 12:00 PM.