After two seasons of some highs and some lows by Landry Fields, we really don’t know what to make of him for the future.
Drafted in the middle of the second round of the 2010 draft, Fields was one of the biggest surprises of the NBA; he started as the shooting guard for the Knicks from the very beginning of his first season. In his first three months of playing for the Knicks, he averaged over 10 points and seven rebounds a game and became a fan favorite for his scrappy and fast paced play.
Then came February 23, the first game after the huge trade with the Nuggets which sent three of their five starters to Denver for two of Denver’s starters. This trade included Raymond Felton, and thus ended the Knick run and gun style of play that helped Fields’ game. In came Carmelo Anthony, and a stagnated, isolation type of offense, where the Knicks became one of the slowest offensive paced teams in the league. But it wasn’t only Carmelo that caused the game to slow down, it was also Chauncey Billups who slowed it up and made it hard for the Knicks to run in transition.
Fields is a type of player that feeds off other people in transition and this change made him become a spot up shooter, which he most definitely is not. For the rest of the first season, Fields numbers dropped to 8.0 points and 4.5 rebounds a game.
This season, Fields often looked lost out there, standing in one spot waiting to get the ball instead of moving in the flow of the offense. He occasionally showed some spark when he drove to the basket with determination but that too wasn’t in the flow. His shot was flat and in general he did not add anything to the Knicks play offensively and defensively. As a result, his minutes went down and starting position was taken away. You could tell that things were not the same when Spike Lee was not wearing his Landry Fields jersey anymore.
Over the course of the past season Fields averaged 8.8 points, 4.2 rebounds 46% FG, 56% from FT line and and awful 26% percent from the 3pt line. Compared to his rookie season where he averaged 10 points, 6.5 rebounds, 50% FG, 77% FT, and just under 40% 3pt, you could without question say Fields had a down year.
So the question is can Landry Fields in an offense that involves Carmelo bounce back from a disappointing season?
I think without a doubt he can. I know I’ve been a little harsh on Landry Fields but I love his type of game. He does a little bit of everything – defends, rebounds and brings great hustle to the team. The Knicks don’t need scoring but if he could hit his open shots (which he wasn’t able to do consistently this season) then he’ll be a great role player. Even if he does come off the bench once Shumpert comes back and plays 20-25 minutes a game, the added energy Fields brings is all we need.
With someone like Jeremy Lin that does push the ball up the court, Fields can return to his rookie season form. In the playoffs Baron Davis had some moments where he was pushing the ball and Fields ended up having a very solid playoffs. So if we have a true point guard for a whole season, and if Carmelo Anthony is willing to keep the ball moving on offense, and if he can improve on his jump shot, Fields will have a good season for the NY Knicks.