The impact of Ronnie Brewer

It's
commonly known that the Chicago Bulls currently do not possess a high-scoring
shooting guard on their roster, and most point to it as the club's weakest
link. Even so, there is no reason to write off 25-year old Ronnie Brewer. The
6'7 swingman is as athletic as they come, has experience in guarding some of
the best wings in the league - even in the playoffs - and while he's not a big
shot-maker, his 52% accuracy from the field over his career proves that he
isn't a liability.

Yes, it is correct the Bulls need spacing, and it's much of the reason why they're still chasing Rudy Fernandez from Portland and signed Orlando guard J.J. Redick to a three-year offer sheet worth $19 million. But aside from the obvious strength of shooting that those two provide, Brewer has them beat in almost every other aspect of the game.

Breaking
down Brewer's game, it doesn't take long to see just how well he moves off the
ball, even considering his limited range that extends no further than 15-17
feet. Brewer makes quick strong cuts to the basket after making eye contact
with his point guard, and usually rewards them with high-percentage shots at
the rim. He even worked well alongside Carlos Boozer, by utilizing the
attention ordered to Boozer in Utah. Brewer played under the radar, took plays
off where the defender would assume his movement had stopped, only to end up
watching the high-flyer receive smart interior passes, and completing them with
downright crazy dunks at times.

Playing
next to Derrick Rose and Carlos Boozer, it's not hard to envision that Brewer
will maintain this approach to the game. Though, there is a chance he will
feature more in the Chicago offense than he did in Utah. The Bulls are deep,
but not necessarily from an offensive standpoint as Utah were. Rose, who is
more offensive minded than Utah's Deron Williams, likes to try out different
angles to attack from. It's not rare to see Rose attack the basket ten times a
night from a different spot every time, and this will only make Brewer that
much more dangerous. The defense will tune into Rose, leaving Brewer in a
position to either force the defender to commit to his movement, or the
movement of Rose. If the defender cheats, Brewer is off running, and can be
found on the baseline cutting strong to the hoop. If the defender remains with
Brewer, it becomes a two-man game between Rose and his defender. A game the
defender will lose more often than not.

Another
added bonus is the addition of Kyle Korver, also from Utah. Having played with
Korver before, Brewer knows his pattern and will use that provided spacing
gained from Korver's presence to his advantage. Korver likes to come off curls
and shoot, which is one of the shots most in need of defensive attention. To
stop a shooter who can run off the ball requires team defense as no one
defender can continue to chase around such a player through double or even
triple screens. Given that attention, Korver will succeed in helping the
defense in forgetting Brewer, who is a non-shooter. With Rose and possibly
Boozer on the floor too, no defender will cheat off of them to maintain
Brewer's placement on the court. In Utah, Korver, Boozer and Williams were
often used as bait, only to free up Brewer for small cuts or wide open
alley-oops. It's not a play that can be run all night long, otherwise Brewer
would be scoring more than the 10.3 average he has for his career, but it's a
legit play that can be used a couple of times during a game, and will create
easy baskets if the defense doesn't smell it ahead.

Defensively,
Brewer is nothing short of brilliant. Often overlooked by reporters for the
magnitude of his defensive presence, Brewer has tremendous understanding of how
to guard players with different speed and strengths. Stick him with a small
combo guard, and Brewer will bump him, while matching his speed step for step.
Put in a tall, but slower, guard in who can score, and Brewer reads him, learns
his moves, all while trying to force the player into a corner, or at least into
a position where the attempt will be heavily contested.

In Chicago,
Brewer will play with Joakim Noah. A defensive minded center, he never quite
had in Utah. Noah's energy and shot-blocking presence will allow Brewer to
free-roam more on the perimeter and creating havoc in the passing lanes. In
Utah, he was the team's most important defender since either Boozer or Mehmet
Okur was able to shield off the basket effectively. This will not be his burden
with the Bulls, making room for much more effective perimeter defense on his
part.

Brewer does
have one glaring weakness, but luckily it will not be portrayed as much on this
Bulls team, and that's rebounding. Despite elite athleticism and leaping
ability, Brewer does not rebound well, grabbing fewer than three per game for
his career in over 26 minutes per night. Fortunately for him, Joakim Noah,
Carlos Boozer, Taj Gibson and Luol Deng are all good rebounders up front, which
should hide his weakness quite decently.

Financially
for the Bulls, the Brewer signing was as low-risk as possible. Guaranteed for
two years and only 50% guaranteed for this third year on a $13.78 million
contract ($12.78 million actually, seeing as $1 million was via a signing
bonus), Brewer came cheaper than the other two targets the Bulls looked at.
Redick was offered over $5 million more over the length of the deal, and
Anthony Morrow, a player who can shoot as well as anybody but does little else,
got comparable money from New Jersey when he signed for $12 million over three
years.

Comments

Leave a comment
  • Great breakdown of Brewer! I think that he will be a perfect addition to the Bulls. I've always felt he was an underrated defensive player, I watched him battle Kobe aka (6 for 24) and other Western 2 guards very well in the playoffs a couple of times and wondering who this guy was.

    It leaves the Bulls with a starting lineup of 6'3, 6'7, 6'8, 6'10, 6'11 with tremendous athletes. The defense should be terrific with Thibs which will be the best way to beat the elite teams such as Miami, LA, and Orlando.

    From a chemistry standpoint Brewer works out perfectly as well, bringing defense, athleticism and highlights. (I think every team needs an excitement guy, who can dunk or block shots to get the crowd going, that's why I never minded Tyrus Thomas) If the Bulls got Reddick they still would need Brewer they wouldn't have gotten Korver. If you can't find an elite 2 Guard it is better to find 2 guys that are great at a few things and complement each other than overpaying 1 guy who is ok at everything.

    I am excited and think the Bulls will be the 2nd best team in the East and the best team to upset the mighty Heat.

  • In reply to Hendu0520:

    ima keep saying it.. unless noah gets to 240+ & boozer attempts to play defense we wont be that elite of a defense..great team but individually? only four players..deng,gibson,brewer & thomas.. noah cant defend like everyone keeps thinking idk how.. its just seems like when the season comes along everyone then wants to admit that he gets push around too much..and boozer played more time at ceneter because of defense..rose will be better..no doubt..deng can now transform his effort and fundamentals along with length and now add some i.q of where to be and how to play with rotating more..kurt thomas is a underrated pickup i just wish he doesnt get too many minutes because of age not production..

    make no mistake about it were top 4.. but top 2? no.. thats miami and boston..
    i think were def just as good as orlando.. you take out rose and you take out howard and were the better team around our best player..but just like howard our team is only as good as rose's development

    the bulls need to get a anthony parker,brandon rush or rudy fernandez.. outta the 3 i say parker for what we need.. rudy is really coming off as a guy who when upsets will just quit.chekc last season and this offseason..

    rush and parker are perfect because of the availabity is higher and probable.. but outta the three

    its parker
    rudy
    rush.. with parker coming more cheaper and brings more of a seasoned deadly 3 point shot and is use to playing against the best player..parker could help rose out alot because he usally guarded the best gaurd or foward for nearly everyteam he played with..plus is cheaper without any off court concerns..

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    ima say it for the first time, Noah already weighs over 240. His listed weight is still 232, just like it was when he came into the league.

    Pretty sure he has gained at least 8 lbs over the past 3 years.

    This is just another of the miriad stupid things that go on in sports. Players height and weight measurements are never changed from what they are at the official predraft camps,

    Noah will be fine as his body naturally matures into a full grown man, which continues at least until you are 30. Plus I don't want him getting too heavy and comprimising his athleticism, which is the strength of his game along with his intensity and intelligence.

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    I wish to point out that Brewer is fully UNGUARANTEED for the third season (not 50% but 0%)if he is waived on or before 7/10/12.

    Source: ShamSports http://www.shamsports.com/content/pages/data/salaries/bulls.jsp

  • In reply to Hendu0520:

    Interesting that in the 2006 draft Bulls traded up from No. 16 to No. 13 to pick Thabo Sefalosha ahead of Ronnie Brewer who Utah picked at no. 14. Thabo later became Taj Gibson and now we have Brewer. It has come full circle and turned out nicely for the Bulls.

    (Bulls gave Philly a 2007 2nd round pick and cash to move up 3 spots from No. 16 to No. 13).

  • In reply to Hendu0520:

    Hendu - your comment about the Bulls getting JJ and then not getting Korver could not be more wrong. Korver was signed PRIOR to the Bulls offer sheet to JJ. They would have had them both. As things worked out, I'm very glad Brewer is here and if the Bulls pull off Rudy or Parker they will be very dangerous.

  • In reply to Hendu0520:

    SG position is primarily a position whose strength should be offense and reasonable defense or defense comes out of being a star on offense. Brewer is essentially a Bruce Bowen, Raja Bell kind of guy without the three pointer ability of those guys i.e. a 6th/7th man or who is a wing player complementing a good offensive SG like a Ginobli. On top of it, the Bulls struggled on offense although Boozer will make it better. If Deng changes his role on offense and can play more like a 3 pt shooter and space the floor when Brewer is on the floor with him, Brewer will be very valuable and good for the Bulls. Otherwise, it will be Hinrich all over again..

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Your agrument makes a stronger case for Brewer. If everybody else has high scoring 2 gurads, then you need someone with length who can guard them, maybe shut them down.

    No team has primary scorers at all 5 positions. We have them at 3, Rose, Boozer and Deng. If Brewer and Noah both average low double digits in points we will have plenty of points and a well diversified offense.

    Rose is a scoring point guard which means that you don't have to have a high scoring 2 guard in the backcourt, but you do need a lockdown defender.

    Lets see Rose/Brewer, or Hinrich/Gordon, who you got?

    I'll even up the ante, Rose/Brewer, or Rose/Gordon?

  • In reply to Hendu0520:

    Tom Haberstroh at Hardwood Paroxysm recently provided an additional reason to be hopeful about Brewer. His latest set of charts demonstrate that Brewer is an extreme outlier at SG in terms of shot selection.

    Brewer takes 50% of his shots at the rim (dunks, layups, put-backs, etc.). That's double the median for SG's, which is about 25%. In fact, 75% of SG's shoot under 30% of their shots at the rim. Overall, Brewer is the MOST unusual SG in the NBA in this respect.

    Haberstroh writes, "You

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to bzoooty:

    You just hit on one reason this team should be very tough to beat. The Bulls are set to be a team that shoots a ridiculously high percentage from the field. Rose at 46% is actually the lowest % shooter of the starters. You combine that with an attacking defense and possibly the best rebounding in the league and you begin to see why 3-pt shooting doesn't have to be in this team's gameplan much. Every offensive possession is a race to see who can get to the front of the rim first, and no opponent can keep up with them unless they play offense with 3 guys in the backcourt.

  • Amen, Stig.

    I loved the signing of Brewer and have always thought of him as a more consistent Thabo Sefelosha (I do miss Borat). I'm not saying he'll shut down Wade like Hinrich somehow seemed to do (by basically not falling for his pump fakes I guess), but I believe he's a better lock down on the perimeter and a better finisher on the break. Give him half a season and I venture to bet nobody will be crying for Hinrich anymore.

  • The impact of Ronnie Brewer...a younger, taller and more athletic version of Hinrich.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Hinrich was never an elite defensive shooting guard...he was good and played well in a team defensive setting.

    Brewer will SHUT his opponent DOWN on a given night...a plus considering some of the high powered SG's he will face thru the year.

    Oh...and Brewer's range is about the same as Marcus Fizer.

    So....nah....horrible comparison.

  • In reply to iamdvsj:

    are you serious? kirk hinirch for his size and playing against who he went?

    kirk played alot of pierce and wade..and for wade? there isnt any body else i seen him strggle more against.. so i ask one more time ..are you serious? he's 6'3 he is a better defender than brewer..if length wasnt a issue from comparison it wouldnt be that close either..you wouldnt be saying that either if brewer wasnt on our team.. lets not get outta hand..

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    Yunqn and DVS,

    Don't act CLUELESS.

    What was Hinrich known for? His defense 1st and his offense 2nd. What is Ronnie Brewer known for? His defense 1st and his offense 2nd.

    Brewer is a younger, taller and more athletic version of Hinrich.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Brewer has much more offensive athleticism than Hinrich.

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    Kirk is an over-rated defender and struggles against quicker guards......plus he's not good at finishing on the break. He'll fit better with Rose.

  • BLOCKBUSTER TRADE?

    To Bulls: Carmelo Anthony, Rudy Fernandez and Jeff Pendergraph
    To Blazers: Omer Asik and a future draft pick
    To Nuggets: Luol Deng, Taj Gibson, James Johnson, Cash and future picks

    games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?trade...

    That could be a WIN-WIN for everyone.

    The Bulls would obviously add much needed scoring to their roster. The Blazers could get some insurance for the Center position, given Oden's and Pryzbilla's recent health issues. And Denver would get a top 10 SF to help replace Melo and a solid rotational PF to eventually replace Kenyon Martin. And they get younger, as well as save $ in the process.

    Theoretically, it could work.

    Rudy does want to be traded and I'm sure Portland would love to see Melo out of that division.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    the worst trade idea ever..

    why do you always act like teams want OUR players?

    not even our top 3 players but role players for a superstar top 10,a guy we cant even get now with a draft pick & player but now you want to swtich a proven for a non and think it makes sense?the blazers already have camby whats the point of having 3 centers?

    & what do you mean top 10 sf? melo is a top 10 player unless everyone is a small foward.. if your goina make trade ideas for once make one that makes more sense for the other team than us..

  • In reply to Yunqn:

    Yunq,

    Is Rudy on the trade block? Yes. Did is mention Chicago as a possible destination he would like to go to? Yes. Is Melo approaching free-agency? Yes. Does the Nuggets' administration plan on watching him walk for nothing? Nope. Has Chicago been mentioned in trade rumors for both guys? Yes.

    Get the point? That trade is a combination of both situations.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Can I type? No.

    Forgive the grammar. Thanks.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZd_OxdgmOg

    ...mmm.

  • FYI:

    The Bulls are in contract with Brian Scalabrine.

    http://realgm.net/src_wiretap_archives/69168/20100918/bulls_in_contact_with_scalabrine/

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    So scary & annoying to hear about. Hope this doesn't happen we've had a great offseason :(

  • My gut feeling is that Brewer will be a much better player in almost every regard than Thabo is, even defensively, and I was always a Thabo fan, but at least as a Bull he just never showed me enough to justify my hopes for him.

  • Nice article MJ more descriptive the one I wrote about him on my blog lol.

    I'm one of the people that wanted Brewer few years ago in the draft, then we got him. Sure he can't shoot but he can do other things well efficiently well on offense.

Leave a comment