Monday, June 6, 2011
Bulls Review: Ronnie Brewer
By Nick Friedell
Over the next few weeks, we'll take a closer look at each player on the Bulls roster and see where they fit in for the future. Let's take a look at the guy who most people figured would be the starting shooting guard when the season began ...
|Ronnie Brewer's inconsistent offensive game makes him a questionable starter at shooting guard.|
2010-11 salary: $4.79 million
Season recap: If Brewer didn't have hamstring issues before and during training camp, he probably would have been the Bulls starting two-guard. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau decided to stick with Keith Bogans from start to finish. Despite saying at times that the move from projected starter to the bench didn't bother him, it was clear that it took Brewer a while to adjust to his new role. Once he did, Brewer became a core member of the Bench Mob and a player Thibodeau grew to trust on defense.
Season highlight: The final two games of the season. Brewer saved his best for last, playing very well in the Eastern Conference finals. In Game 4, he made several clutch shots and free throws and in Game 5 he scored 10 points and seemed to get in Dwyane Wade's head at times throughout the series.
Season lowlight: No player on the Bulls managed to miss more breakaway dunks/layups than Brewer. It happened on at least three or four different occasions throughout the year, including the playoffs. In each instance, Brewer's miscues changed the momentum of each game.
Final grades: Regular season: C | Postseason: B
Notes: Had it not been for a thumb injury he suffered in the second to last game of the season, Brewer would have played in every game this season. He was durable and gave the Bulls a solid performance on most nights. He is a very good defender and is well liked in the locker room. The problem for the Bulls is that they didn't see many glimpses of the guy who averaged almost 14 points a game a few years ago in Utah. Granted, being an offensive threat isn't as important when Derrick Rose share the backcourt, but Brewer didn't really seem like much of an offensive threat. He shot 48 percent from the field, but he still appeared hesitant to shoot a long-range jumper on most nights. The Bulls knew he wasn't a good three-point shooter and that was apparent from the outset, as he shot just 22 percent from beyond the arc. Opposing teams might have feared Brewer's defense to a certain extent, but they certainly didn't consider him much of an offensive threat.
The Bench Mob always wins. We always win because we don't give up. We play hard every possession. Sometimes the starters get complacent and they look for fouls in practice. We haven't scrimmaged in a long time, but I'm pretty sure if we scrimmaged right now we'd probably beat them.
-- Ronnie Brewer discussing the battles in practice between the bench players and the starters
What's next?: The general assumption is that the Bulls will look to upgrade the two-guard position after the lockout ends, but if they can't find an upgrade for the right price, Brewer may get more of a chance to crack Thibodeau's lineup. The question is: Can Brewer be the starting two-guard for a championship team? After seeing him play this all season, it would be tough to argue that he could because he doesn't provide the type of offensive firepower the Bulls need alongside Rose. Brewer is a solid bench piece, but his jumper isn't reliable enough to count on the nights when Rose is off.