For those that haven’t heard of Crazy8, Knicksonline.com’s video genius, allow me to introduce you to one of the best Knick video producers on the web. His youtube channel has quickly become the nerve center of all online Knick video analysis and his popularity on message boards is one of the most rabid. I’m thrilled to have worked with Crazy8 on putting together this video post on Ronnie Brewer- someone who Crazy8 realized wasn’t getting enough credit for the role he has played on the Knicks this season. Enjoy. -Rich B
This has undeniably been one of the best starts to a Knick season that we have seen in years and much of it is to due to, as Amare would say, phenomenal effect that NBA vets have had on the team. Previously a bit of a meme, the “Ancient Knicks” isn’t so funny anymore. When thinking about the superb play of vets, names like Kidd, Wallace, and even Prigioni- who still counts despite being the oldest rookie in the league, roll off the tongue. There is one vet whose effect on the team has arguably been one of the most significant and hasn’t really gotten much recognition. With that said, let’s correct this and heap some praise on Ronnie Brewer.
Brewer has always been known for two things: Defense and his ugly ass shot. It’s no surprise that his defense has been consistently stifling for opposing players, but if its one thing that has been a shocking is his much improved offensive output. Yes, it is an ugly shot form but say what you want about it because he’s been burning nets around the league. Don’t be fooled by the 6.8ppg he is averaging as a starter, pay closer attention to his three point shooting which is a career high of .405%. It’s been well documented how deadly the Knicks can be from behind the arc with most thinking of Novak, but Brewer has improved tremendously in this area. For a career .241% three point shooter to balloon up to .405% is pretty dramatic. This isn’t just an added bonus for a defensive minded Knick team, its delightfully game changing.
With as dominant as Melo has been, the fact that at almost any given moment the other marksman on the floor are just one Melo double-team away from hitting an open shot with surgeon-like precision is something that has been giving opposing coaches migraines all year long. And now, the impossible has happened: the one guy coaches didn’t have to even think about on defense is just a week or so away from hitting the most three pointers he has ever had in a full season. The other thing about Brewer is that the value he has brought to the team has far outweighed the cost of his vet-minimum contract. When compared to Novak who is just starting to get around to becoming “Novakaine” again it could be argued that Brewer is the one that should be rewarded more when offseason contract talks start to begin. Of course this is said out of a very small sample size so lets see if this trend continues for the rest of the year and revisit which player is more expandable then. Either way with Shumpert a few weeks away from returning, Coach Woodson is going to have to figure out which players will have their minutes cut. If he elects to go with defense over perimeter offense, then Brewer is his man. If he elects to go with perimeter offense over defense, is Brewer statistically still his man? Probably not; but this is for Woody to figure out.
Lets not get caught up in three point shooting though. Brewer has also shot very well from the rest of the floor and has shown that he can even find other ways to score without hitting open jumpers. And of course what is most important about Brewer is the same thing that has always been his bread and butter: his defense. A lot of players can make baskets but very few can stop others from doing so, and that’s precisely what Brewer has always been famous for. Ronnie, if you are reading this, please know how appreciated you are by Knick fans because you are a big part of the reason why the Knicks have become fun to watch again. And if you don’t believe me, lets hear what someone else who knows Ronnie better than we do think about him:
“Ronnie’s just a great team player, that’s who he is. He plays to win, plays for the team, hard-playing, does a little bit of everything. (He) can score, pass, play-make, play great defense and he’s a great teammate, very coachable. He did a great job for us when he was here and he’s doing a great job for the Knicks” –former coach Tom Thibodeau.
Video Production by: Crazy8
Written by: Richard Bertin