I believe in Landry Fields. I am not always a positive Knick fan, and I certainly have bashed a player or two for underperforming, but I think that this past season will be labled as a fluke when his career is said and done.
His rookie season was too good to dismiss. He was named to the All-Rookie team after posting averages of 9.7 ppg, 6.4 rpg, and shooting 39.3% from 3-point territory. Fields led all guards in rebounding for much of his freshmen year.
He was a second round steal, and The Knicks actually put their foot down when The Nuggets wanted him to be included in the ‘Melo trade.
His production would never be the same after that trade, because Fields had difficulty finding his role in the offense now that ‘Melo was taking over.
He faded slightly towards the end of the season, and then made a giant mistake in the offseason. Landry Fields came back having reworked his jumpshot, or as Walt Frazier continously pointed out: he completely took the arc out of it.
Landry Fields began this season as the starting shooting guard for Mike D’antoni’s team. He finished it backing up Iman Shumpert on Mike Woodson’s team.
His stat line for this season consisted of 8.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg, and 25.6% 3pt shooting percentage.
Those numbers are only even that good because the emergence of Jeremy Lin helped to revert him back to his former self. The faster offense that came with Lin helped Fields use his off ball skills to become more productive.
The 3-point shooting numbers are the most alarming. Fields went from an above average long range scorer to a far below average shooter. The worst part was that he was succesful when driving to the lane, but it took him almost the entire season to figure out to not take the 3-pointer, and instead dribble into the paint.
The good news is that his defensive awareness improved this season, and he was able to hold his own against some of the league’s better shooting guards.
I have faith that Fields will make the neccesary adjustments in the offseason to come back ready to contribute to this team. He can fix his shot, and work on other playmaking skills in order to improve in his third year.
Fields may have actually done The Knicks a favor by underperforming the way he did. There was a time when I thought that The Knicks may not be able to afford him because of how valuable he could be. However, he brought his stock down considerably this past season, and The Knicks may be able to sign him for much less than he is worth.
Landry Fields has a definite role in our rotation as a solid role player off the bench backing up Carmelo Anthony and Iman Shumpert (when he returns from injury). Now that J.R. Smith has opted out of his contract (although he is said to be resigning), Fields could play an even more important role as the possible starting shooting guard at the beginning of the year.
There is no doubt a lot of work to do in order to get his career back on track, but I am excited for The Knicks to resign him, and for Fields to provide a needed spark off the bench.