Ronnie Brewer read the Knicks' developing roster in the offseason to a tee.
As the swingman was weighing offers from multiple teams, he recognized the Knicks had the right pieces to complement his defensive and intangible-based game: a defensive-minded coach in Mike Woodson; star players in Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire who demand attention; and three seasoned point guards who could connect with his sneaky, off-the-ball movements in halfcourt sets.
"We have solid pass-first, shoot-second point guards, looking to set up their teammates," Brewer told ESPNNewYork.com in the summer. "If we can get easy stops and get the lead early in transition, and play up-tempo, you've got to have kind of a glue guy who can play alongside Carmelo and Amare.
"They're going to have a lot of isolations, and they're going to need to have guys who can move without the ball, get to the open spots and knock down shots, or get to the basket and make plays."
Anthony called Brewer the "the biggest under-the-radar pickup" on media day, and through three games (all wins), the Knicks' new acquisition has already made an impact. He helped hold LeBron James to a cool 23 points and five turnovers, and made Evan Turner basically a non-factor in back-to-back games with 22 total points.
It's rare to see opponents get by the 6-7, 235-pound Brewer, who has quick footwork.
"When I have a guy that can roam and guy that can shut down his guy," center Tyson Chandler said recently, "I know most likely he's not going to be beat as much, and I can concentrate my focus around the rest of the floor. He's big and strong, and can keep guys out of the paint."
Offensively, Brewer has a knack for finding open seams in the defense. "Once I see guys turn their heads or try to help," he said, "that's an opportunity where I can cut back-door and get space where I can get easy points."
Brewer is noted for his efficiency -- he only has one turnover in 78 minutes -- and he's starting to shoot well from downtown (5-for-9), which he hasn't done at all in his six-year career.
Brewer, who had knee surgery before training camp, is still working back into shape. But he's gaining confidence with his teammates, and believes he'll excel in New York.
"I just felt like the best fit for me as a player and what I do with my talents, and the style of play, New York was the perfect fit for me," he said.
Woodson has noticed the difference.
"He's done a great job considering he hasn't played much basketball since the knee surgery," he said. "He's coming along pretty nice for us."
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