Carmelo Anthony. J.R. Smith. Raymond Felton. Jason Kidd.
All four players have been key contributors to the Knicks’ offense during their impressive 3-0 start to the season. After leading the league in field-goal percentage last season, one may even expect Tyson Chandler’s to start getting things rolling on offense too. When multi-time all-star Amar’e Stoudemire returns from injury, he also will be a major factor on that side of the floor.
When assessing this Knicks squad from A to Z, it’s safe to say the team puts together a nice balanced attack each and every night. With so many offensive weapons, however, the roster also needs a few steady defenders to help pace their efforts on that side of the ball as well.
And that’s where Ronnie Brewer comes in. Praised by his Knickerbocker teammates from day one, Brewer’s intensity on defense isn’t matched by many. He’s a very solid on-ball defender, and as a wing player, is faced with guarding some of the league’s better offensive superstars on a nightly basis.
Needless to say, Brewer isn’t one to shy away from a steep challenge. His presence should give New York confidence that an opponent’s shooting guard and/or small forward will be slowed down if Brewer is the one guarding him.
Coach Mike Woodson has preached defense throughout parts of two seasons now, which is why the types of things Brewer does on the court are so crucial to the Knicks’ success, not only as of late, but over the course of this season as well.
But as it just so happens, Brewer is also giving his new team a lot more than they originally bargained for.
In addition to helping pace the Knicks’ efforts on defense, the wingman has also been an offensive weapon of sorts in his own right. What’s perhaps more impressive than his 9.7 points per game average (currently good for fourth on the team) is the efficient manner in which Brewer is scoring the points.
Brewer was a late addition by New York this past offseason, and was acquired to step in during Iman Shumpert’s knee injury recovery time. After letting Landry Fields sign with the Raptors, it’s safe to say the Knicks didn’t want to miss a beat in Shumpert’s absence.
Coincidentally, Brewer has given the Knicks more than they could have ever hoped for from Fields. The new resident starting wing has been helping his new team spread the floor. Not only is Brewer shooting 50% from the field, his 56% shooting from behind the arc helps the Knicks keep opponents on their toes when players start to penetrate.
When players like Anthony and Smith aim to drive towards the basket or pull up for a jumper, the Knicks need other players spaced around the perimeter to make sure the defense is vulnerable and can’t focus solely on the ball handler.
Brewer has been able to sneak right in and wait for his number to be called on offense. Though his shooting form is quite far from the norm of your everyday wingman, the Arkansas alum hasn’t failed to continue knocking down jumpers from long range. He’s found ways to make his teammates better by doing so.
And thus, Brewer hasn’t only filled a certain void for his new team so far. He’s moreover been able to surpass expectations as of late, fitting right in to the Knicks’ offensive flow. It’ll be interesting to see if Brewer can carry on his hot shooting start, but the team undoubtedly appreciates the multiple things he’s been able to bring to the table.