At the start of the season, Ronnie Brewer was rolling. In November he was starting and averaging 7.0 points and 22.7 minutes per game, and the Knicks went 11-4. It was the forward's perimeter defense that helped the team the most, but when his shot went missing, Mike Woodson didn't waste any time sending him to the bench. And that's basically where he's been ever since.
But that could change after the All-Star break, with the Knicks' defense dipping lately. Woodson has said he needs to help Brewer more, and that could mean a place back in the starting lineup again.
"A possibility," the coach said after the team's loss to the Raptors. "Right now, I don't like the way we're starting games. We've kind of been up and down in that area. I've got to go back to the drawing board and figure out what I'm going to do in terms of who starts."
KIDD 'N REST: Jason Kidd has also seen his numbers dip, from 9.9 points per game in December to 5.8 in January, and now 3.5 in February. But it's not because Kidd isn't starting; it's been because of some fatigue. He's 39 years old, after all.
"Probably rest is going to do him some good," Woodson said. "With him getting some rest, he's got to rethink some things, too, in terms of how he can continue to help us and to stay at the top. That's what it's all about at the end of the day. I've still got enough confidence in Kidd. He's going to make shots. ... He's missed some good shots here as of late, some really open shots. He'll make them eventually."
FIELDS REUNION: Before the game, Raptors forward Landry Fields -- a former Knick -- caught up with 12-year-old cancer survivor Gianna Donahue, who Fields befriended in 2010. That's when she was battling brain cancer.
Before tipoff, Fields spent a few quiet moments with Gianna, who has been cancer-free for one year.
"It's tremendous," Fields said of seeing Gianna, the sister of longtime Knicks fan Anthony Donahue, who hosts the Internet radio show for TheKnicksBlog.com. "It puts everything in perspective -- never take anything for granted. There's days that I want to complain in this wonderful job that I have, and she's a constant inspiration."
"When I saw him, he'd always say hi," Gianna said of Fields. "He was just really nice."
Fields, who had four points and 10 rebounds against the Knicks, also became engaged to girlfriend Elaine Alden earlier on Wednesday.
"I met her in New York, so it was only right to ask her here," Fields said. "I'm blessed."
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