Perhaps a reflection of the Arkansas Razorbacks program over the last six years can be seen today in the NBA. Sadly there are only two former Arkansas Razorback players currently grabbing the spotlight running up and down the hardwood courts in NBA cities throughout the country, Joe Johnson and Ronnie Brewer.
Brewer, 6’7”, 225 pounds, was brought over from the Chicago Bulls to the New York Knicks at the end of the 2011-2012 season to add depth and a defensive presence to a team lacking both during the previous season.
A spot starter off and on during this season, Brewer has seen his playing time decrease over the last five games with a high of 15 minutes against Brooklyn on Dec. 19 and a low of 8 minutes against the Los Angeles Lakers on Christmas Day.
Brewer is having an average season in the scoring department with numbers a shade higher than his rookie season in 2006-2007. During his rookie season Brewer averaged 4.6 points per game playing in 56 games. This season in 29 games he’s averaging 5.1 points per game, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.2 assists. His low output makes one wonder if Brewer is quietly playing with an injury of his own?
Joe Johnson, 6’7”, 240 pounds, was acquired by the Brooklyn Nets over the summer bringing the six-time NBA All-Star to the Big Apple.
Johnson, in his 12th season in the NBA, has seen a temporary dip in his points per game average as the Nets continue to find their pacing offensively with a roster full of solid NBA talent. The dismissal of head coach Avery Johnson on Thursday, Dec. 27 could have been a factor in Johnson’s lowering numbers.
Thus far during the 2012-2013 season Johnson is averaging 16.9 points per game, 3.1 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game. Johnson had a season-high 32 points against the Golden State Warriors on Dec. 7 hitting 12 of 23 shots including 4 of 9 from behind the arc.
The Knicks (21-8) hold a 2-1 advantage over the Nets (14-14) so far this season winning the last two matchups. The Nets are down 6.5 games in the standings to the Atlantic Division leading Knicks in the NBA Eastern Conference.