GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Steve Novak is among the best in the NBA at knocking down a pull-up three-pointer, but this season you might see him do that from inside the arc -- and off the dribble.
Novak worked on creating shots for himself during the offseason so he doesn't have to rely so much on his teammates to get him looks.
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"I don't think you'll ever see it as my go-to stuff, but I think as a weapon," Novak said. "When defenses overplay me, just put it on the floor, one or two dribbles, nothing crazy."
Knicks coach Mike Woodson told Novak he wanted him to develop this part of his game. In the first two preseason games, Novak, who shot an NBA-best 47.2 percent from three last year, did put the ball down a few times and tried to score off the dribble -- with mixed success.
Novak shot 7-for-7 from three against Washington, but missed a floater after putting the ball down. Last Saturday against the Celtics, Novak 1-for-6 from deep, but made a couple of shots off the dribble.
Woodson would like to see that and more from Novak.
"He's capable of doing that because he gets a guy up in the air and all that is two or three escape dribbles to go get your shot," Woodson said. "He's been working on that. The next step is to get him to take it all the way to the hole and maybe get knocked on his [butt] and go to the free throw line and shoot free throws."
Novak, who signed a four-year, $15 million contract in July, flourished playing under Mike D'Antoni and with Jeremy Lin, and it continued after Woodson took over. But Miami shut Novak down in the playoffs, holding him to 2.4 points, 6.4 below his season average.
That probably contributed to Woodson telling Novak he needed to expand his game and he tried over the summer.
"Just little things, just focusing a little more on my shot fake, just visualizing guys jumping and putting on the floor, one dribble," Novak said. "Just those little things will make a difference."
Still, getting open and spotting up from three will remain a big part of Novak's game.
In the Heat series, Lin was rehabbing from knee surgery and the Knicks didn't really have anyone who could penetrate and drive-and-kick to Novak. That shouldn't be a problem with Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd and Pablo Prigioni running the point now.
"I know I just have to stay spaced and draw the defenses out," Novak said. "I am so dependent on guys like Jason and Raymond and Pablo and those guys finding me. That's what they do; they're pass-first guys. It makes my job easier for sure."
Brewer close to practicing
Woodson said "there's a possibility" Ronnie Brewer might practice this week and perhaps today. Brewer had his left knee scoped Sept. 7 and was expected to miss six weeks.
Marcus Camby, meanwhile, remains out with a strained calf. He was supposed to miss 7-10 days and Tuesday was Day 11.
"I can't say he's getting close," Woodson said. "But he's feeling better. I will talk to the training staff to see if he could be back next week."
Woodson also said Rasheed Wallace, who continues working on his conditioning, hasn't been cleared for practice.
Lin Loved N.Y
Lin is on the cover of the November GQ and in the article reiterated he never wanted to leave the Knicks, and even hoped to finish his career in New York.
"You can't ask for a city or a fan base to embrace somebody more than they embraced me," said Lin, now with the Houston Rockets. "I know it's kind of silly to talk about it with only two years under my belt in the league, but going in before free agency, I was like, 'I want to play in front of these fans for the rest of my career.' I really did."
Lin received a three-year, $25.1 million deal from Houston that included a $14.9 million poison pill in Year 3 and the Knicks opted not to match it.