Statistical Analysis. Humor. Knicks.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

2012 Report Card: Landry Fields

Stats:

Player Age G MP MPG PER TS% eFG% TRB% AST% TOV% USG%
Landry Fields 23 66 1894 28.7 12 0.506 0.49 8.5 14.5 15.1 16

Per 36 Minutes:

FGA 3PA 3P% FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
9.8 2.3 0.256 2.6 0.562 1.1 4.2 5.3 3.2 1.5 0.3 1.9 1.9 11

“But sometimes when you’re different you just need a different song.”- Giraffes Can’t Dance

Have you ever read “Giraffes Can’t Dance”?  It is the story of a giraffe that competes in a jungle-wide dance contest.  At first he trips and falls because the music just isn’t suited to him, but in time he finds just the right tempo for him and it is then he shows the entire jungle just how well a giraffe can dance.  I thought of Landry Fields as I read that book to my kids last night because if there is one Knick who struggled to find the right tempo this year it was Fields.

After a rookie campaign that featured back-to-back Eastern Conference rookie of the month awards, 4th place in rookie of the year voting, and a spot on the NBA rookie first team, it looked like Fields had found his tempo.  But in his second year, Fields failed to put together a prolonged stretch of good play.  With the exception of slight improvements in AST% (9.0 to 14.5) and steal percentage (1.6 to 2.1), Fields’ stats are down across the board. I’ve read a number of theories on why Fields struggled in 2011-2012.  Some blame the sophomore jinx; others say it is Carmelo Anthony’s style of play.  A few blame it on Fields own lack of talent, or that he is playing out of position, or that he is regressing to the mean.  I’d like to offer that the lack of improvement in year two is not about Fields regressing in any way, but more about him trying to find his way on a team that changed significantly from his rookie year peak.  The Carmelo Anthony trade was the most obvious change but I don’t think Anthony’s so called ball-hogging is the issue here.  There are two other changes that forced Fields to play a different kind of game in his second year. The first was the uneven–often awful–point guard execution after Felton was traded. The second was the addition of Tyson Chandler.

The two things Fields did really well in his first year was score efficiently (TS% of 59.8 and EFg% of 56.8) and rebound exceptionally well for his position (7.4 rebounds per 36).  Fields saw significant drops in each of these areas in 2012, which dropped him from an average NBA player in 2011 (PER .100) to a slightly below average player in 2012 (PER .085).  The lack of an effective floor leader that could get Fields the ball where he is most likely to succeed may be what held back his scoring in 2012.  In looking at Fields’ shot chart from 2011 and 2012, I noticed that Fields still took about the same number of shots from 3 feet to 23 feet (2 per game in 2011 and 2.4 in 2012) while converting at about the same rate (30% in 2011, 37% in 2012).  Landry’s big drop off was in conversion at the rim (72.3% in 2011, 64.8% in 2012) and connecting from beyond the arch (EFg% 59 in 2011, EFg% of 38.4 in 2012).  This is just my naked eye and spotty memory here, but it seemed to me that Fields found himself forced to try and create offense in 2012, rather than just get to the right place at the right time as he did in 2011.  I’d have to think it is much easier to score on a quick put back at the rim, rather than on a drive with defenders in position waiting for you. Furthermore, rebounding machine Tyson Chandler at center secured many (Jim would say “all”) of the rebounds the previous center (Stoudemire) was happy to let Fields have. Fewer offensive rebounds means fewer easy put backs to help those shooting numbers.

I’m not excusing Fields on offense. I acknowledge that his jumper is severely broken and it might not ever get better but I do think he is still a valuable player.  He is average to above average on defense, a good rebounder for his position, he is a good teammate, and he isn’t expensive.  I think with a full training camp and time to find his place in the offense; Fields can be a solid contributor for the Knicks.  He just needs to find his tempo.

Grades (5 point scale):

Offense: 2

Defense: 4

Teamwork: 3

Rootability: 4

Performance/Expectations: 2

Final Grade: C

 

69 comments on “2012 Report Card: Landry Fields

  1. Caleb

    I think you’re too kind about his defense, which might be average but not better than that.

    The most positive thing about 2011-2012 is that Fields improved his ability to put the ball on the floor, and his playmaking ability. He was sort of a turnover machine as a rookie, considering his only role on offense was a spot-up shooter. This year his TOV% was almost the same as his rookie year, even as he had more ballhandling responsibility and his assists went up – almost 1:1 :)

    If his stray shot ever comes home, this year’s improvements will make him a really good offensive player. But man, that shot is like a stray cat that got stuck in the luggage and ended up in Colorado.

    All in all, a C sounds generous, but maybe that’s just a product of the disappointment – we thought he could be better.

  2. ephus

    As much as I like Landry’s personality, I think that these grades are too high. The horrible perimeter shooting and free throw shooting meant that he was a major detriment on offense. If you put his game together with Novak’s you would have one complete offensive player. Novak’s half is a useful offensive player against most defenses (but not Miami), but Landry’s is not.

    I would put Landry at D+ or, at best, C-. If he repeats last year’s performance, he should not be a rotation player on a contender.

  3. JK47

    There were long stretches of the season where it seemed like the opposing defense wasn’t even bothering to guard Landry Fields on the perimeter– he’d just be standing out there by himself like the weakest player in a pickup game. So his .506 TS% is bad, but it’s even worse when you consider that a very high percentage of those were wide open looks. I’d be surprised if there were very many players in the NBA who missed more wide open jumpers than Landry.

    Subtracting Landry Fields from the offense and adding a competent guard is probably the quickest way to improve this team. Landry was second on the team in minutes last year– that’s a lot of empty, unproductive minutes. As a bench swingman he’s serviceable but he should not be getting near 30 minutes a game like he did this past season.

  4. thenamestsam

    ephus:

    I would put Landry at D+ or, at best, C-.If he repeats last year’s performance, he should not be a rotation player on a contender.

    I think the whole “He should not be a rotation player on a contender” thing is a bit overblown. If you look at the guys on the fringes of contder’s rotations they’re a lot worse than the platonic “contender role-player” most people seem to picture in their head. Case in point: Keyon Dooling, Ryan Hollins, Ronny Turiaf and Norris Cole all played in last night’s ECF game. That said, I think Landry is that same type of very fringey rotation guy unless he rediscovers his shot, and I agree with you that a C- would be a better grade for this year.

    Having gone all negative on Landry I will say this: The Knicks would be silly to give up on him. For a bench swing-man, I think he’s above average in every single respect EXCEPT shooting, and he has already shown in his rookie year that he is capable of being a decent shooter. He’s a good rebounder, a decent defender, cuts well, passes well, finishes at the rim, takes smart shots. He can be an excellent bench player if he can start knocking down the open 3 at even a respectable clip.

    Guys make dramatic improvements in their jump-shooting all the time, and Landry has reasonable form. He looks like he should be a good shooter, his shot is just way too flat. It looks fixable to me.

  5. ephus

    I am in favor of bringing back Fields for a reasonable price. If he takes the Qualifying Offer, great. I would match up to the mini-MLE ($3 MM), but let him go if he gets a bigger offer. But, once Fields is back in the fold, I would keep him on a short leash. If he cannot improve his perimeter shooting and free throw shooting, he is too big of an offensive liability to deserve rotation minutes. I agree that he would be at the same level as Dooling, Hollins, Turiaf and Cole, but each is playing limited minutes and only because of significant team injuries.

  6. TelegraphedPass

    We’re aware of the implications on our FA situation if we give Landry $3m right? If we exceed the apron we lose our exceptions. So we would lose the ability to re-sign Lin and Novak. For Landry Fields.

  7. ruruland

    thenamestsam: I think the whole “He should not be a rotation player on a contender” thing is a bit overblown. If you look at the guys on the fringes of contder’s rotations they’re a lot worse than the platonic “contender role-player” most people seem to picture in their head. Case in point: Keyon Dooling, Ryan Hollins, Ronny Turiaf and Norris Cole all played in last night’s ECF game.

    YEah, but all of those guys are peripheral role players. None of them have a significant effect on the spacing integrity of their offenses, given that Miami often has at least two floor spacing shooters at once, and very single one of Boston’s bigs outside of Hollins can knock down jumpers.

    But there is no way a good offense can afford to have Fields, Shumpert, a poor shooting point guard and a non-shooting center on the floor at the same time, as was often the case last year.

    I think Fields will rebound and Shump will get better, but those guys were offense killers for the mosrt part last year.

  8. ephus

    TelegraphedPass:
    We’re aware of the implications on our FA situation if we give Landry $3m right? If we exceed the apron we lose our exceptions. So we would lose the ability to re-sign Lin and Novak. For Landry Fields.

    That is true only if the Knicks lose the arbitration on Early Bird rights to Lin and Novak. If that happens, then the Knicks cannot exceed the Apron and use the BAE or the portion of the MLE in excess of $3 MM. So consider my desire to keep Fields for up to $3 MM amended to state that if the Knicks have to use the MLE for Lin (because they do not have Early Bird rights), I would not want to resign Fields for any amount that would cut into the Knicks having the full MLE.

  9. thenamestsam

    ruruland: YEah, but all of those guys are peripheral role players. None of them have a significant effect on the spacing integrity of their offenses, given that Miami often has at least two floor spacing shooters at once, and very single one of Boston’s bigs outside of Hollins can knock down jumpers.

    But there is no way a good offense can afford to have Fields, Shumpert, a poor shooting point guard and a non-shooting center on the floor at the same time, as was often the case last year.

    I think Fields will rebound and Shump will get better, but those guys were offense killers for the mosrt part last year.

    Oh, absolutely. Landry played like a barely in the rotation guy this year and played almost 30 minutes a game. That’s clearly a big problem from a team perspective. I was just responding to the notion that this version of Landry is completely useless. Even if this is the guy Landry is I think he can still be useful for 8-10 minutes a night off the bench. If there’s no improvement in his jumper next year, that’s where he should be.

  10. cgreene

    I didn’t read the analysis I just went straight to the grades but these grades are too high. Landry was a C- or D player this year especially vis a vis expectations. The offense was putrid. He also made some of the worst most mis-timed turnovers I’ve ever seen. I never saw him as more than an average defender either. There are certain guys he can stick but generally guys are either too quick or too strong for him.

    Ruru got this right. We simply cannot afford to have Landry, Shump and Chandler be 2/5 of the offense at any given time unless Shump dramatically improves his 3 (which I think he can and did as the season went on). If Landry is a significant part of the rotation along with these guys either Lin or Shump better dramatically improve or we will be bottom half on O again next year.

  11. Ben R

    I think the C grade is fair. After his rookie year we wanted Landry to improve his passing, defense and ball skills. Landry improved all three dramatically. What we didn’t count on was his shot completely falling apart. I think his shot is fixable and is the easiest thing to improve, which should be even easier since Landry has shown the ability to shoot in the past.

    If Landry’s shot hadn’t fallen apart then I think he would be deserving an A grade, since every other aspect of his game is above average, but it did fall apart so I think the C is about right. Overall he was a worse player this year than he was his rookie year but fixing your shot is easier than the holes he did fix last year so I think he is actually a better prospect right now than he was after his rookie year.

  12. Thomas B. Post author

    I gave him a C because I thought Landry was more a victim of circumstance rather than a bad player. His rookie PER was a .100 which is what an average player will get. This year he was a .085 slightly below average, but i think most of that was due to readjusting to the changes this year, the lack of solid PG play the most serious of those. Advance stats seem to show his defensive rtg is above average, his steals were up. He is clearly active on defense. Obviously he is no Shumpert, but he was one of the better backcourt defenders on the team this year.

    I figure you get a C for being average. Landry was about average and I thought most of his struggles were due to changes on the team beyond his control. Young players really need summer workouts and full training camps. The lack of those things made me grade him on a curve.

    Now if Fields’ C is too high, wait until you see what i have planned for Baron Davis.

  13. nicos

    Thomas B.:
    Advance stats seem to show his defensive rtg is above average, his steals were up.

    His synergy numbers were really, really, bad. .91 ppp allowed ranking 341st in the league. In my opinion he was awful the first half of the season, rivaling Amar’e for the worst defender on the team- he trailed every screen by a good step and a half and struggled with any change of direction. He was better the second half the year but still average at best.
    I was encouraged by a couple of things- he was able to get to the rim much better off of the dribble. Last year when he drove from the three point line he was taking that awful 6 foot jump-stop floater that never went in, this year he was getting all the way to the rim- a very good sign even if he efficiency around the basket went down. Also, he ran the side pnr pretty well, especially with Amar’e and his play-making in general took a real step forward (crazy lobs to an unsuspecting Chandler aside). If he maintains his late-year defensive improvement and get some semblance of his shot back he’d be worth 3 million (especially with Shumpert’s status up in the air). If his shot comes all the way back and he continues to improve his passing he’d be an absolute bargain at that price.

  14. Thomas B. Post author

    Fields’ defensive win scores and Drtg numbers are very close to Iman Shumpert’s. And everyone thinks Sumpert can play great D. Why is it that Fields, with similar numbers, is below average but Shump is super? Shump gets about 1 more steal per game but that alone can’t be the sole factor, can it?

    Nicos, he did get to rim much more than in his first year, the problem is that his success at the rim dropped a bunch. He also stopped taking threes which i don’t think made life any easier for him. Mike wrote a column about a Knick who did something similar a few years ago. I have to think of who that was.

  15. nicos

    According to synergy Fields forced turnovers on just 7.8% of possessions where he was the primary defender, Shumpert forced turnovers 17.8% of the time. In isolation situations the difference was vast- 24.3% for Shumpert, an anemic 6.4% for Fields. For comparison, Lin forced turnovers 13.3% of the time in isolation, 11.3% overall. Shumpert gave up a full tenth of a point less in overall ppp allowed- .81 to .91, that’s a pretty big difference, especially when you factor in how often Shumpert checked the opposing team’s best perimeter player. Fields did get some steals but those low turnovers forced numbers show how passive his man defense is.
    As for his lower % at the rim, I think it’s because he was getting a lot more offensive rebound put-backs last year (6.9% of his attempts as opposed to 3.9 this year). Also, he iso’d a lot more this year- 9.5% of attempts this year, 6.9 last (partly because he was passing up more open jumpers due to lack of confidence and driving instead). And he took a lot more shots off of pnr’s 12.3% vs. 6.9%. Last year he primarily got to the rim off of cuts, put-backs, and in transition- all very high percentage situations. This year he was getting to the rim more off of the dribble (both off of isolation and in pnrs) which are lower % shots but bode well in that they showed the potential for a more diverse offensive game.

  16. jon abbey

    Thomas B.:
    Fields’ defensive win scores and Drtg numbers are very close to Iman Shumpert’s. And everyone thinks Sumpert can play great D.Why is it that Fields, with similar numbers, is below average but Shump is super?Shump gets about 1 more steal per game but that alone can’t be the sole factor, can it?

    the conclusion to be drawn is that defensive win scores and Drtg numbers are not good metrics, at least in this case. read the posts before and after yours about the Synergy numbers, that’s where the only useful semi-public stats seem to be currently.

    the eye test tells me that Fields is an average to bad defender, and Shumpert was a world-class one, one of the top handful in the league. no comparison.

    overall, Fields’ sole asset this year was that he was healthy, but he was terrible most of the season.

  17. cgreene

    Fields main plus asset in his rookie year was also that he was an excellent rebounder. His reb % dropped by 20%. So did his TS%. I don’t understand the free pass for this guy. He stunk this year.

  18. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    jon abbey: the conclusion to be drawn is that defensive win scores and Drtg numbers are not good metrics, at least in this case. read the posts before and after yours about the Synergy numbers, that’s where the only useful semi-public stats seem to be currently.

    the eye test tells me that Fields is an average to bad defender, and Shumpert was a world-class one, one of the top handful in the league. no comparison.

    overall, Fields’ sole asset this year was that he was healthy, but he was terrible most of the season.

    Oh, bullshit. Don’t tell me that eFG% is a worthless stat for the outside “noise” it doesn’t incorporate yet Synergy can tell us that Shumpert is definitively responsible for his increased forced turnover % because it passes the eyetest.

  19. The Honorable Cock Jowles

    And I don’t think DWS or DRTG are good statistics, either. Frankly, I think Win Scores is a load of shit. They account for about 70% of actual wins. Hardly an accurate statistic. Say what you want about Berri’s methodology, but at least his numbers add up.

  20. nicos

    The Honorable Cock Jowles: Oh, bullshit. Don’t tell me that eFG% is a worthless stat for the outside “noise” it doesn’t incorporate yet Synergy can tell us that Shumpert is definitively responsible for his increased forced turnover % because it passes the eyetest.

    There’s no amount of noise that can account for a 24% to 6% turnovers forced differential on isolation plays.

  21. max fisher-cohen

    +/- numbers for the Knicks’ who started across large periods of the season:

    Lin: +5.8
    Fields: +5.7
    Davis: +0.4
    Chandler: -0.7
    Anthony: -1.0
    Stoudemire: -1.3
    Jeffries: -2.2
    Shumpert: -2.6
    Douglas: -5.0

    Knicks average: +3.1

    If you look more closely, the team is +2.0 on offense with him and gives up 4.3 more points when he’s on the bench.

    Last year, he was a net negative on defense and +4.0 on offense.

    Fields’ shot may have gone kaput, and he seems to make the type of errors that Jeffries makes — panic errors that are hard to forget — but my guess is the passing and willingness to run the floor and move off the ball helps the offense score more easily and flow more effectively, while at the same time, his defense (particularly at small forward where his counterparts avg an eFG% of 45.7% and a PER of 12.0) is now above average.

  22. nicos

    max fisher-cohen:
    +/- numbers for the Knicks’ who started across large periods of the season:

    his defense (particularly at small forward where his counterparts avg an eFG% of 45.7% and a PER of 12.0) is now above average.

    Well, the league average PER for small forwards was 11.96 so I’m not sure that Field’s numbers there are anything to write home about.

  23. Thomas B. Post author

    One thing I know for sure is that a metric that does not support your opinion is a bad metric.

  24. Thomas B. Post author

    cgreene:
    Fields main plus asset in his rookie year was also that he was an excellent rebounder.His reb % dropped by 20%.So did his TS%.I don’t understand the free pass for this guy.He stunk this year.

    A “C” is a free pass? His season was just slightly below what he did last year, kast year he was average. I’d say his offense stunk especially from deep. I would not say he stunk this year. Hell, most of is numbers are better than everyone’s favorite rookie, Iman Shumpert. Flawed as those metrics are, he put up a higher PER and WINSCORE than Shump. Higher TS%, Higher Efg%, better rebounder, about even in AST%, slightly lower turnover volume.

    If Fields should have got a D, then what should Shump get?

  25. jon abbey

    if you really believe that Fields’ contribution to the Knicks this year was anywhere near Shumpert’s level, you need your basketball watching license revoked.

  26. jon abbey

    you’re still quoting the easily researchable numbers, but you’re ignoring the Synergy numbers from the two posts above. please read those.

  27. jon abbey

    I think even with a blown out knee, Shumpie might be able to outperform this year’s version of Fields. :)

  28. Z-man

    I am with you , jon. Fields was terrible this year. Also, Shump improved steadily all year. Fields’ shooting actually got worse, especially from the FT line. Yes, he made some nice passes on the P&R and all, but most of the time he sucked at both ends. And please, let’s not blame it on the situation, Melo can’t iso the ball when Landry is at the FT line. I give him a D+ on the basis of him regressing in critical areas rather than improving.

    I will give Landry this: he is very smart and reasonably athletic, and he has a nose for the ball. Maybe he can figure out a niche for himself during the off-season; if he could shoot 35% from 3 and 75% from the line he would be a totally different player. I still see his upside as a Shane Battier clone (Shane also has a funky looking shot, but at least it goes in from time to time.) I wouldn’t give up on him at a low salary, but I wouldn’t depend on him either, and would gladly trade him for a decent backup PG, etc.

  29. Z-man

    A big cncern I have with Fields is mental toughness. Don’t know how you improve that.

  30. Nick C.

    Z-man: A big cncern I have with Fields is mental toughness. Don’t know how you improve that.

    Ironic on a team of guys that “graduated” HS @ age 19-20 while he goes to Stanford and I assume graduated that his mental powers are in question.

  31. Brian Cronin

    I don’t think Fields has a problem with mental toughness, but the fact that he’s intelligent wouldn’t debunk an argument that he isn’t mentally “tough.” Intelligence doesn’t really factor in with “mental toughness.” Z-Man is talking more about fortitude, stuff like that. The argument is that Fields shrinks against teams that really make a point of going at him, like Boston and Miami.

  32. Nick C.

    I knew that, but it’s still funny on a team with such metal giants. I think the shrinking is more = not being all that good despite the numbers sort of the Nick Swisher argument. Probably not too different from the complaints that he seems to do the bulk of his scoring in the first half, quarter, half of the first quarter.

  33. Thomas B. Post author

    jon abbey:

    I think even with a blown out knee, Shumpie might be able to outperform this year’s version of Fields. :)

    Well if we can only use the stats that support your world view, then sure. I was kinda thinking we look at more than just the synergy stats, which are on your side. I acknowledge that. But why don’t the other stats support your theory? Oh right they are flawed because they don’t match how you see things. Yes of course.

    I’ve read the synergy numbers. Very nice. Now what? do I throw everything else out?

    Could it just be that from my point of view I am right and from your point of view you are right? Based on the things that I value, Fields is average and a slightly more pruductive player than Shumpert. That’s just my view and I do have something to support it.

  34. Thomas B. Post author

    nicos:

    According to synergy Fields forced turnovers on just 7.8% of possessions where he was the primary defender, Shumpert forced turnovers 17.8% of the time. In isolation situations the difference was vast- 24.3% for Shumpert, an anemic 6.4% for Fields. For comparison, Lin forced turnovers 13.3% of the time in isolation, 11.3% overall. Shumpert gave up a full tenth of a point less in overall ppp allowed- .81 to .91, that’s a pretty big difference, especially when you factor in how often Shumpert checked the opposing team’s best perimeter player. Fields did get some steals but those low turnovers forced numbers show how passive his man defense is.

    Could it also mean that Fields defends players who are less likely to turn the ball over than Shumpert does? As you said Shump gets the best perimeter guy, so it could be that that guy does more ball handling, shooting, creating his own offense. If you are defending a guy who doesnt have the ball how do you force a turnover?

    Since I don’t know synergy as well as you and Jon maybe you can help me understand why synergy is better than everything else out there?
    Here is something that looked at synergy and still didn’t come up with “Fields sucks.”
    http://meloshipofthering.com/2012/04/16/does-landry-fields-suck/
    So there is at least one other guy who thinks Fields isn’t that bad.

    You keep forgetting I gave him a C not an A.

  35. Thomas B. Post author

    jon abbey:

    if you really believe that Fields’ contribution to the Knicks this year was anywhere near Shumpert’s level, you need your basketball watching license revoked.

    Stats don’t lie. PER. WINSC. TS% DRTG. EFG% Rebs. Turnover volume. But let’s ignore all of that in favor of the old eyeball test.

  36. Brian Cronin

    I probably disagree a bit, Thomas, but by disagree, I mean I think he probably had a C-/D+ season rather than a C, but that is basically the same thing you said. So I don’t think you’re that far off the mark.

    Although I think Synergy makes a compelling case for Shumpert as more valuable than Fields, as even with Shump’s offensive woes he is a special defender. Fields is not a bad defender, but Shumpert is an elite defender, which I think makes him a better overall player than Fields.

    If Fields is a C- then I think Shumpert had a B- season. People are happier with Shumpert’s future outlook because his offense got better as the season went on while Fields got precipitously worse. While they both need to improve a lot offensively, Shumpert actually improving as the season went on makes him seem a likelier bet to actually improve next season.

  37. TelegraphedPass

    Landry’s plus/minus seems a little misleading. He owned the starting position (with our Tyson Chandler) for most of the year. Shump didn’t get that honor until the very end of the year.

    I think Landry could be a very productive player, especially with a skilled PG, but he absolutely will need that jump shot back. He needs to go back to being a cutter instead of pretending to space the floor for Melo isos and Chandler PnRs. I feel like he could be really good as the backup SF behind Carmelo.

  38. ALLANROSE

    Landry Fields was a second round pick for a reason. He plays well in transition when there is no one in front of him and the Basket for a dunk. He hustles, passes the ball. He shows no individual skill for one on one basketball, getting his own shot in a half court offense, doesnt run a pick and roll, has no midrange or 3 point accuracy. He’s also a poor free throw shooter. Once he went around the league a few times, players and coaches adjusted to the things he couldnt do and took away drives to the basket, which left him naked on offense. He didn’t adjust. He’s not a great one on one defender or help defender, and doesnt block shots. He has not developed the tools necessary to be an NBA starter in this league, and im wondering if he can be a regular bench contributer. Novak and JR Smith have far more value than Fields. The Knicks have given him two seasons to perform, its obvious that he should take a seat. I can’t name two games this year where he excelled against a quality team. Add that to two poor playoff performances, and he is what he is. He should be part of any deal the Knicks can make for a shooter or rebounder.

  39. Thomas B. Post author

    I started to give Landry a C- but then I decided to give him a bit of a break on offense because just about everyone on this team (other than Chandler and Novak) had a bad shooting year. So it is not as if Fields was way outside of the overall team offensive production. I blame poor coaching and a lack of consistent and skilled floor leader. Imagine how many more easy scoring chances Fields might have with Lin or Davis finding him off back screens to the basket?

    The team was in constant flux on offensive, people in an out of the lineup, coaching changes, ect. So I took a bit of the blame off Fields. In short, I decided not to evaluate him without considering the team as a whole. If Fields sucked on offense then you have to say Shump did too (sucked more actually). Is anyone ready to say that?

  40. jon abbey

    Thomas B.: Well if we can only use the stats that support your world view, then sure.I was kinda thinking we look at more than just the synergy stats, which are on your side.I acknowledge that.But why don’t the other stats support your theory?Oh right they are flawed because they don’t match how you see things. Yes of course.

    I’ve read the synergy numbers. Very nice.Now what? do I throw everything else out?

    Could it just be that from my point of view I am right and from your point of view you are right?Based on the things that I value, Fields is average and a slightly more pruductive player than Shumpert.That’s just my view and I do have something to support it.

    I could have sworn that you argued differently the whole second half of the season, no?

    FWIW, Synergy (which I don’t have access to) stats are more sophisticated than the ones easily available, that’s why it’s a pay service. it’s closer to the ones the NBA teams use. it has nothing to do with “what supports my world view”.

  41. jon abbey

    Thomas B.: Stats don’t lie.

    but the point is that in basketball, most easily available stats actually are misleading a huge amount of the time. it’s like you’re two years behind the discussion on this.

  42. TelegraphedPass

    Thomas B.: If Fields sucked on offense then you have to say Shump did too (sucked more actually). Is anyone ready to say that?

    I’m just not sure I agree with that, especially by the end of the year. Once Shumpert had developed a more consistent 3 ball, he had become much more valuable in this offense. Landry just wasn’t a part of the offense by the end of the year. It was like playing 5 on 3 much of the time. Baron was trying to make plays, Melo was the focal point much of the time, and STAT was STAT, but Woody had very few plays drawn up for Tyson and none for Landry. They mostly fed off of opportunities when the defense broke down off of another play. That doesn’t happen very often, especially without Lin playing.

    Honestly, some of Landry’s numbers mask just how poorly he performed this season. I don’t particularly care where players are graded, but he seemed more of a D+ to me. His strengths weren’t nearly enough to mask his weaknesses (average-at-best lateral quickness, slow to fight through screens, awful shooting).

    He could still be a very productive player, but his role needs to change in my opinion.

  43. Thomas B. Post author

    jon abbey:

    but the point is that in basketball, most easily available stats actually are misleading a huge amount of the time. it’s like you’re two years behind the discussion on this.

    Well let’s see Stumbling on Wins was released in march of 2010, so yeah I’m 2 years behind. You are right again, what a surprise.

    In my emotional-naked-eye-Knick-fan-watching-a-game mode yes I did call for Fields’ head many times. But now I have to temper that along with the numbers and think about everything that went into the season. After reviewing the stats, I decided Fileds wasn’t that far off what he did last year and I concluded that much of the problem was due to the changes on the team. This is a team sport and i decided to consider the team’s impact on Fields’ game.

    I’d say my scores for Fields are within the margin for error and all our views are subjective anyway. I’m not sure why I’m getting so much guff over being about a half grade off what most people thought it should be.

    But it is settled, I’m giving Shump a D+ just so I can watch your head explode.

  44. Brian Cronin

    Yeah, I don’t get it, either, Thomas.

    You gave him a C. A D+ and a C are really, really not that different. It’s not like people are calling for D+ and you gave him a B+.

    In addition, as you mentioned, you gave Fields plenty of crap during the season, so it not like you have some pro-Fields bias.

  45. jon abbey

    heh, I couldn’t care less what you grade anyone, I didn’t say anything about that. I just think it’s laughable for anyone to think Fields’ level of play this year was anywhere near Shumpie’s, but thankfully you are one of the few people who do.

    Thomas B.: After reviewing the stats, I decided Fields wasn’t that far off what he did last year and I concluded that much of the problem was due to the changes on the team.

    but your conclusion should have been that the stats you were looking at were flawed.

  46. jon abbey

    kind of happy I had to google what “Stumbling On Wins” was (Dave Berri’s book), and you meant March 2010, not 2012.

    but you must know I think Berri is a joke and not worth even reading, he probably thinks Fields was NY’s MVP again this year. :)

  47. Thomas B. Post author

    Say what you will about me, but you will not insult our lord and savior Dave Berri!

  48. Thomas B. Post author

    jon abbey:

    heh, I couldn’t care less what you grade anyone, I didn’t say anything about that. I just think it’s laughable for anyone to think Fields’ level of play this year was anywhere near Shumpie’s, but thankfully you are one of the few people who do.

    but your conclusion should have been that the stats you were looking at were flawed.

    My flawed stats say Fields is the better overall contributor.

    With Fields I hate the execution on offense. With Shumpert I hate the shot selection. Not sure which is more easily cured. All I ever said was based on the stats I decided to use, it was hard to see where Shump was worlds better than Fields. Obviously I’d rather have Shump on Derrick Rose than Fields. But Shump fouls a lot (yeah rookies don’t get calls). Shump gambles a lot. Shump gets lost on screens a lot. Now he is an awesome on the ball defender, best on the team, maybe one of the best in the East. No, Fields is not on that level. But he is a solid defender.

  49. 2FOR18

    Thomas B.:
    One thing I know for sure is that a metric that does not support your opinion is a bad metric.

    Awesome. That quote should be the first line in “The Layman’s Guide to ….”

  50. jon abbey

    I didn’t realize anyone still took Berri seriously. again, I thought we all realized he was a bozo a year or two ago, but evidently not.

  51. ruruland

    TelegraphedPass:

    Honestly, some of Landry’s numbers mask just how poorly he performed this season. I don’t particularly care where players are graded, but he seemed more of a D+ to me. His strengths weren’t nearly enough to mask his weaknesses (average-at-best lateral quickness, slow to fight through screens, awful shooting).

    He could still be a very productive player, but his role needs to change in my opinion.

    Right. And I think we need to keep clubbing people over the head with this.

    Being able to mask skill deficiencies is dependent on the aggregate skills of other players on the floor.

    There are negative consequences to lacking skills, those negative consequences are magnified when those lacking skills aren’t manifest in high enough quantities for them to affect plays.

    The advanced stats Owen and THCJ treat as gospel here don’t take into account the value that other players provide in making up for the skills of limited skill/ high efficiency players, even those “usage” high-skill players aren’t the ones who get the stats tallied in their account.

    Whenever Novak gets a pass where he cannot immediately shoot, he is forced to pick his dribble up.

    What happens when he picks his dribble up? A ballhandler is forced to bail him out well beyond the 3pt line and the offense is effectively broken.

    Defenses don’t respect Fields ability to shoot the basketball — which both cuts off his strength, driving, and forces him to either shoot the basketball or otherwise paralyze the offense because the ball reverses back out without any movement or attempt at penetration.

    While improving his shooting to say, just below average, may not necessarily improve his shooting efficiency overall (because he would be taking a higher percentage of shots he’s not efficient with), it would benefit the offensive ecosystem greatly.

  52. nicos

    Thomas B.: Could it also mean that Fields defends players who are less likely to turn the ball over than Shumpert does?As you said Shump gets the best perimeter guy, so it could be that that guy does more ball handling, shooting, creating his own offense.If you are defending a guy who doesnt have the ball how do you force a turnover?

    Since I don’t know synergy as well as you and Jon maybe you can help me understand why synergy is better than everything else out there?
    Here is something that looked at synergy and still didn’t come up with “Fields sucks.”
    http://meloshipofthering.com/2012/04/16/does-landry-fields-suck/
    So there is at least one other guy who thinks Fields isn’t that bad.

    You keep forgetting I gave him a C not an A.

    I wasn’t complaining about his overall grade just that I didn’t think he deserved a 4 on defense- I thought he was awful in the first half of the season and pretty average after that. You asked why people think Shumpert was a better defender than Fields when their defensive win shares were similar so I gave you some synergy stats that certainly suggest that there was a big difference between them. As I said, I thought Fields was okay on defense the second half of the year, I just don’t see him a real plus on that end. He’s strong and has quick hands but has real trouble getting around screens and lacks lateral quickness- he’s probably better suited to guards threes than twos (which he did more in the second half of the season).

  53. nicos

    As for synergy defensive numbers, I think they can tell you something about a player’s man defense but they’re still really raw. That said, I’m not sure defensive win shares tell you anything. Amar’e had a better rating than Fields, would you give him a 4 for defense on his report card?

  54. ruruland

    nicos:
    As for synergy defensive numbers, I think they can tell you something about a player’s man defense but they’re still really raw.That said, I’m not sure defensive win shares tell you anything. Amar’e had a better rating than Fields, would you give him a 4 for defense on his report card?

    defensive win shares are basically steals and blocked shots, and team defensive numbers are distributed evenly by minutes.

    It’s quite silly.

  55. ruruland

    nicos:
    As for synergy defensive numbers, I think they can tell you something about a player’s man defense but they’re still really raw.That said, I’m not sure defensive win shares tell you anything. Amar’e had a better rating than Fields, would you give him a 4 for defense on his report card?

    And Synergy is a much more effective analytic tools.

  56. TelegraphedPass

    ruruland: defensive win shares are basically steals and blocked shots, and team defensive numbers are distributed evenly by minutes. It’s quite silly.

    Also charges drawn, I believe!

  57. jon abbey

    was there a single game this year that Fields was one of the three best Knicks (possibly)? there were a ton that Shumpert was one of the three best Knicks, I know that.

  58. jon abbey

    thanks, although I’m sure Shumpert dwarfs him in this category, whether it’s evident in the box scores or not.

    also worth noting those three games were CHA, DET and SAC, three of the nine worst teams in the league this year.

  59. Marcel

    Well, it was against crappy teams.

    But lets not forget that Shumpert was able to be even worst against those bad teams.

    So this argument it’s pointless.

  60. jon abbey

    Marcel:

    So this argument it’s pointless.

    what argument here isn’t, especially when every discussion essentially disappears after a day or two?

  61. Thomas B. Post author

    Considering that the team was one of the best defensive teams in the NBA, I’d be inclined to give very few failing defensive grades. For example, the solid Fields got a bump to 4 for fitting into an overall strong defensive team. He still rebounds well for his position (8th in NBA for guards, Shump was 29th), and I consider reducing scoring chances a part of defense. Fields was 18th in steals by position, Shump was 4th. I would say that Fields is closer to Shumps level of steals than SHump is to Fields level of rebounds.

    I don’t say any of this to argue that Fields is as good a defensive player as Shump. I just think Fields is effective in other ways that are harder to appreciate than the skillset Shump brings on defense.

    Just about everyone showed defensive energy even though there were some people clearly better performers than others. Effort counts even if execution isnt always the best. I’d probably give Amare a 4 as well. I did not think we could give half grades, so I round up to the next number. It is nt just the individual defense, the team defensive concept is important too.

  62. Thomas B. Post author

    Not that this matters at this point but I did notice in several game threads people talking about how poorly Shump gets over/fights through screens. Is that not part of defense? I’m not sure what stat captures that. I’m pretty sure PER doesn’t, does synergy show you stuff like that?

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