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Saturday, December 22, 2012
Notebook: Felton still can't find the bucket

By Jared Zwerling and Ian Begley

Raymond Felton's final line on Friday night may look deceiving. He finished with 21 points on 9-for-21 shooting in the Knicks' four-point loss.

But Felton started the game 3-for-12 and is mired in a shooting slump.

"I couldn't throw the ball in the ocean tonight," Felton said.

The point guard is playing with bone bruises in his left and right hand but hasn't used those injuries as an excuse.

Felton was 11-for-33 in the Knicks' previous two games, and is shooting 38 percent from the floor in his last five games.

Raymond Felton
Raymond Felton had another poor shooting night against the Bulls at the Garden.
WHERE'S THE BREW?: Ronnie Brewer hasn't served the goods this month -- and it continued tonight. Against his former team, the starting small forward didn't score (0-for-4) in his fewest minutes (10) of the season. In November, he averaged 7.0 points per game on 46.1 percent shooting, but in December (entering Friday's game) he's sunk to 4.0 points and 29.4 percent.

"I've got to help Ronnie," Woodson said afterward. "When guys lose confidence, man -- it happens throughout the course of the year -- as a coach, and our coaching staff, we've got to show Ronnie a little more love and try to get him back on track, because he is a big part of what we're doing, and a big part of us being 19-7. I'm not going to kick him to the curb."

Brewer is still coming up big with his defense (1.2 steals per game), passing off some dribble-drives, and strong screens for Carmelo Anthony and other scorers to get open off curls.

Tonight definitely wasn't Steve Novak's night from the 3-point line - all of his attempts were bricks. He shot 0-for-3 from downtown, and had no points to make up for his misses. Perhaps Novak was still feeling some flu-like symptoms. That's what caused him to miss the Nets game on Wednesday night. His shots looked a bit flat and he hit the front of the rim a couple of times. But give some credit to the Bulls, who always knew where he was and smothered him. Anthony said the Bulls' physicality threw the Knicks off early and they couldn't regain their composure.

THE BIGGEST OVATION OF THE NIGHT: It had nothing to do with the game, especially because of how poorly the Knicks played. It came when the Garden honored former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand, who was sitting near the court, in the first half. He suffered a spinal-cord injury in October 2010 and was paralyzed below the neck. He has since regained movement in his shoulders and sensation throughout his body, and out of good faith, Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano, who was previously with Rutgers, signed him as an undrafted free agent in May 2012.