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

 

Knicks Morning News (Thursday, May 31 2012)

  • [New York Times] Playoffs | Game 2: Heat 115, Celtics 111 (OT): Heat Withstand Big Night by Rondo and Lead Series, 2-0 (Thu, 31 May 2012 07:24:06 GMT)

    The Celtics’ Rajon Rondo scored 44 points to lead all players, but the Heat still got the victory behind LeBron James’s 34 points and Dwyane Wade’s 23 points.

  • [New York Times] Thunder Deny They Were Grasping at Straws by Grabbing at Splitter (Thu, 31 May 2012 05:45:21 GMT)

    The Thunder say they were merely trying to slow the Spurs by fouling the backup center Tiago Splitter repeatedly in Game 2.

  • [New York Times] Hornets Land Top Pick in N.B.A. Draft (Thu, 31 May 2012 06:25:42 GMT)

    New Orleans won the No. 1 pick in the draft lottery, and because the Nets missed out on a top-three pick, they will send their first-round selection to Portland.

  • [New York Times] Jordan Tells Ewing He Won’t Be Bobcats Head Coach (Thu, 31 May 2012 05:44:25 GMT)

    The Charlotte Bobcats, who finished 7-59 this season, will hire a coach within the next couple of weeks, but it will not be Patrick Ewing.

  • [New York Times] Hornets Win Draft Lottery, Will Pick No. 1 in NBA (Thu, 31 May 2012 08:36:00 GMT)

    After a painful wait for a new owner, the search for a new star was a breeze for the New Orleans Hornets.

  • [New York Times] Heat Overcome Rondo, Top Boston 115-111 in Game 2 (Thu, 31 May 2012 08:09:07 GMT)

    Rajon Rondo posted a stat line never before seen in NBA playoff history. He was on the court for every second of a game that finished more than three hours after it started. He scored more points in a single overtime than anyone this season.

  • [New York Times] Rondo’s One-Man Show Earns Kudos but Not Victory (Thu, 31 May 2012 06:39:18 GMT)

    Rajon Rondo delivered an extraordinary playoff performance for the Boston Celtics, racking up 44 points against the Miami Heat, but still ended up on the losing side in a heartbreaking overtime loss on Wednesday.

  • [New York Times] Rondo’s 44 Not Enough for Celtics in Game 2 (Thu, 31 May 2012 05:11:55 GMT)

    Rajon Rondo played every second for the Boston Celtics. Made just about every play. Made just about every shot, too.

  • [New York Times] Heat Edge Overtime Win as Rondo Sizzles for Boston (Thu, 31 May 2012 06:09:14 GMT)

    The Miami Heat withstood a virtuoso performance from Rajon Rondo, who tallied a career-high 44 points, to emerge with a 115-111 overtime victory over the Boston Celtics and claim a 2-0 Eastern Conference finals lead on Wednesday.

  • [New York Times] Game 2: Heat 115, Celtics 111 (OT): Heat Win Despite Rondo’s Scoring Outburst (Thu, 31 May 2012 05:02:54 GMT)

    The Celtics’ Rajon Rondo played all 53 minutes and scored 44 points, with 10 assists and eight rebounds, but the Heat still got the victory behind LeBron James’s 34 points.

  • [New York Times] Hornets Win Draft Lottery After Dismal Season (Thu, 31 May 2012 03:51:36 GMT)

    The New Orleans Hornets were awarded the top pick in next month’s National Basketball Association (NBA) draft after winning the annual lottery that favors weaker teams on Wednesday.

  • [New York Times] Flopping, Flagrants, Olympics on Stern’s Mind (Thu, 31 May 2012 01:06:28 GMT)

    David Stern wants to take a closer look at flopping and referees to be able to take a second look at all flagrant fouls.

  • [New York Times] Hornets Win Draft Lottery, Will Pick No. 1 in NBA (Thu, 31 May 2012 02:23:50 GMT)

    New owner, and now a new star player. The future suddenly looks bright for the New Orleans Hornets.

  • [New York Post] Stern wants ‘sparks’ in Knicks-Nets rivalry (Thu, 31 May 2012 04:24:33 -0500)

    It will be, in the eyes of NBA commissioner David Stern, the perfect blend of competition, hatred, geography and, hopefully, TV ratings.
    It will be a real rivalry, the Brooklyn Nets versus the New York Knicks.
    “I am hoping, for more sparks, a few verbal, some build up,â? Stern said…

  • [New York Post] Lucky Hornets win Davis sweepstakes (Thu, 31 May 2012 01:05:12 -0500)

    Shortly after New Orleans general manager Dell Demps handed off the souvenir ping pong balls that made the Hornets the big prize winner for Kentucky’s Anthony Davis in the NBA Draft Lottery, he was approached by Brooklyn Nets counterpart Billy King.”So, you want to trade the pick?â? King…

  • [New York Daily News] BobcatsALL scratch Ewing from head coaching job (Thu, 31 May 2012 02:15:59 GMT)

    Patrick Ewing may be part of Michael Jordan’s inner circle but he won’t be coaching Jordan’s team. And that might not be such a bad thing.

  • NYT: Why Odom Could Make Sense for the Knicks

    Over at the Timeseses, I wrote about the prospects of a Lamar Odom homecoming, and how — at a friendly price — it might be the right move for both parties:

    In a season not exactly lacking in dramatic narratives, Lamar Odom’s fall from championship complement to tabloid punch line provided perhaps the best combination of strangeness and sadness.

    On Dec. 11 the Lakers dealt Odom, the mercurial forward who had just posted the highest player efficiency rating of his 11-year career (19.4), and a second-round pick in the 2012 draft to the defending champion Dallas Mavericks. The price: a future first-round pick and an $8.9 million trade exception for the cap-strapped Lakers, who felt compelled to make the move after being stymied in their efforts to land point guard Chris Paul in a broader deal days earlier….

    …Now, the Knicks may be in a position to bring the versatile forward aboard.

    You can read the rest here. Or not. Up to you, really. This is America.

    Knicks Morning News (Wednesday, May 30 2012)

  • [New York Times] Game 2: Spurs 120, Thunder 111: N.B.A. Playoffs: Spurs Defeat Thunder in Game 2 (Wed, 30 May 2012 07:30:08 GMT)

    With Tony Parker’s 34 points leading the way, the Spurs extended their winning streak to 20 games as they took a 2-0 lead in their series with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

  • [New York Times] On Pro Basketball: Harvey Araton: Small Markets Thrive in N.B.A. (Wed, 30 May 2012 05:20:11 GMT)

    The Western Conference finalists show how smartly run teams can thrive in small markets. And then there’s the Knicks.

  • [New York Times] Ray Allen’s Ankle and Shot for Celtics Are Ailing (Wed, 30 May 2012 06:30:08 GMT)

    Hampered by bone spurs in his ankle, Ray Allen of the Celtics is struggling in the N.B.A. playoffs.

  • [New York Times] Nets Need Lottery Luck Just to Draft in First Round (Wed, 30 May 2012 03:45:16 GMT)

    The Nets’ first-round draft pick will be forwarded to Portland unless they land one of the top three picks in the N.B.A. draft lottery on Wednesday night in Manhattan.

  • [New York Times] With 2 Picks, Hornets Eagerly Await Lottery Fate (Wed, 30 May 2012 09:11:58 GMT)

    There finally could be some good news for Hornets who suffered through a miserable season as part of the fallout from the Chris Paul trade.

  • [New York Times] Parker Leads Spurs to 2-0 Series Lead (Wed, 30 May 2012 08:23:56 GMT)

    Tony Parker and the San Antonio Spurs are making this look way too easy.

  • [New York Times] Spurs Silence Thunder to Notch 20th Straight Win (Wed, 30 May 2012 05:55:12 GMT)

    The San Antonio Spurs continued their perfect run in the playoffs, marching to a record-breaking 20th straight win as they fended off Oklahoma City Thunder 120-111 to take firm control of the Western Conference Finals.

  • [New York Times] Durant, Westbrook Can’t Rescue Thunder in Game 2 (Wed, 30 May 2012 06:21:04 GMT)

    The Oklahoma City Thunder finally found a way to slow down the San Antonio Spurs. It still wasn’t enough to beat them.

  • [New York Times] Vinny Del Negro to Return as Clippers Coach (Wed, 30 May 2012 00:03:55 GMT)

    Vinny Del Negro will be back as coach of the Los Angeles Clippers next season.

  • [New York Times] Bobcats Hope Draft Lottery Answers a Cry for Help (Wed, 30 May 2012 00:56:52 GMT)

    After the worst season in NBA history, the Charlotte Bobcats could use a player such as Anthony Davis.

  • [New York Newsday] Hearing soon on Lin, Novak 'Bird rights' (Wed, 30 May 2012 00:07:09 EDT)

    The hearing to determine whether the Knicks can re-sign Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak without using any of their exceptions will be two weeks from Wednesday.

  • [New York Post] Lin-Novak hearing set (Wed, 30 May 2012 03:40:37 -0500)

    The arbitration hearing to restore Larry Bird rights to Knicks free agents Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak will be staged June 13, according to an NBA source. It is a very important date for the Knicks’ free-agent future as a victory would be a major coup.
    If the Players Association…

  • 2012 Report Card: Tyson Chandler

    Stats:

    Player Age G MP MPG PER TS% eFG% TRB% AST% TOV% USG%
    Tyson Chandler 29 62 2061 33.2 18.7 0.708 0.679 17.2 4.3 17.1 13

    Per 36 Minutes:

    FGA 3PA 3P% FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
    6.2 0 0 5.5 0.689 3.7 7 10.7 1 1 1.6 1.8 3.2 12.2

    When thinking about Tyson Chandler, I can’t help but conjure that scene in Hoosiers where the freshly hired Norman Dale (played to the marrow by Gene Hackman) shows up to practice for the first time to find his charges mired in some half-assed scrimmage. The team’s yokel assistant keeps barking at the guys to “quit throwing it around and get it in the hole,” while Dale looks on, horrified. The two then engage in a super awkward exchange, culminating with yokel coach threatening to “strap your ass to a pine rail, and send you up the Monon line.”

    Having assumed full command, Dale then proceeds to put his team – four-and-a-half players, remember – through a series of rigorous, defense-oriented drills that damn near end the Huskers’ season on account of mass death before it can even begin. Only they don’t die, they’re better for it, and their defense becomes just as important as any Jimmy Chitwood (Melo) jumper from thereon forward.

    That’s Tyson Chandler.

    Long before Mike Woodson’s [ostensibly] defense-first ascension brought about a top to bottom philosophical pole shift, the Knicks’ 12th hour offseason signing of Chandler signaled something of a sea change in an organization once again undertaken a course re-charting. Four years and $56 million later, the Knicks had added the final piece to the league’s most lucrative frontcourt. And despite the backcourt question marks and team turmoil doomed to follow, Tyson Chandler – from day one and with bearded aplomb – moored himself in a Garden floor typically wont for quicksand, “scrapping and yelling and mixing it up,” as another Hackman vessel might say.

    Spending a full season covering for a pair of players almost savant-like in their defensive disinterestedness would’ve proven an injured errand for most. Instead, Chandler was one of the more durable cogs in a machine perpetually shedding bolts and gears in the form of knees, ankles, and other leg-related bits, this despite playing with a left wrist made of roast beef for much of the season.

    He also charted the second highest field goal percentage in, like, a thousand years, which is ridiculous, no matter the system. Even more incredible, he did it with an offensive repertoire as dynamic as a Lunchable; oops, put-back slams, deep-paint flips, and little else (he attempted 10 shots beyond 10 feet this year – TEN!) Which hasn’t mattered much ever since Chandler first took the amateur plunge in 2001, when he was paired with fellow high school standout – and, by virtue of his extensive ballet training, far more offensively refined – Eddy Curry. Like any intelligent player, Chandler figured out a might quick that the key to his longevity had its pivot in the pivot’s essentials: defense, rebounding, energy, and a few loose ‘bows. It’s a formula that helped prove him the binding agent of a Dallas title team just a season ago, and one which will be key to any successful equation the Knicks manage to chart in the coming months and years.

    As evidenced by a Defensive Player of the Year Award – the franchise’s first ever – and a second team All-NBA Defensive team selection (how you reconcile those two things, I have no idea), Chandler exhibited nothing in the way of payday malaise. If anything, he was the only point on the troika that truly earned his keep, in the process taking on the mantle of emotional and psychological leader. Even more remarkable was the effortlessness with which Tyson endeared himself to a fan base built largely on the currency of grit – grit and bad beards. In a city where quick fix solutions often result in the marshaling of stars as mercurial as they are polarizing, the stabilizing effect of Tyson’s grounded quawn is less a luxury than a necessity; the front office might continue to orbit a lifeless rock, but with Chandler, at least we know the locker room is in good hands.

    Given their precarious cap situation, the Knicks have basically afforded themselves a two or three-year window within which to vindicate the current core. Fair or not, deserved or not, the burden’s onus will fall disproportionately about Melo and Amare’s shoulders. And, given their ring-less pedigrees and questionable two-way ethics, it probably should. Chandler, on the other hand, is the kid who can do no wrong; the Galahad at a table full of flawed peers; the good apple in a barrel risking rot. I mean, you know, minus the dumbass techs.

    Because of Tyson, the Knicks’ D – in less than a year – went from league laughingstock (21st in defensive efficiency last year) to the ones holding the whoopie cushions and squirting flowers (5th). In an Eastern Conference where the M.O. has been – and will most likely continue to be – defense first, second, and last, that’s no small thing. As such, rediscovering their decade-past taste for blood and box-outs will be key to the Knicks’ future prospects, while that of an offensive fool’s gold fades into the forgotten.

    In the wake of Mike Woodson’s multi-year extension, it’s likely that this season’s stretch run will serve as the philosophical template going forward. Whether that means an iso-Joe-like, Melo-centric offense, one built around the quickness and probing prowess of Lin, or something wholly other, it’s clear that defense will be the team’s North Star for the foreseeable future. And Woodson doubtless deserves partial credit for that. The rest goes to number six.

    Grades (5 point scale):
    Offense: 4
    Defense: 7,000,049
    Teamwork: 5
    Rootability: 5
    Performance/Expectations: 5
    Final Grade: A

    Knicks Morning News (Tuesday, May 29 2012)

  • [New York Times] Playoffs | Game 1: Heat 93, Celtics 79: N.B.A. Playoffs — Heat Beat Celtics as James Scores 32 (Tue, 29 May 2012 06:30:07 GMT)

    LeBron James had 32 points and 13 rebounds, and Dwyane Wade had 22 points and 7 assists as Miami took Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals from visiting Boston.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Playoffs — Manu Ginobili Epitomizes Spurs’ Drive (Tue, 29 May 2012 03:53:06 GMT)

    Manu Ginobili put on a flawless display of shooting in the fourth quarter Sunday, epitomizing the various routes San Antonio has taken in its record-challenging run of perfection.

  • [New York Times] James Scores 32 as Heat Run Past Celtics in Game 1 (Tue, 29 May 2012 07:47:57 GMT)

    Dwyane Wade grabbed a rebound, turned and fired a 90-foot pass to LeBron James to set up one of the easiest scores the Miami Heat had all night.

  • [New York Times] Rivers Demands Improvement From Celtics (Tue, 29 May 2012 05:33:15 GMT)

    Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers demanded improvements across the floor from his team after they fell to a 93-79 defeat to the Miami Heat in the opening game of the Eastern Conference finals on Monday.

  • [New York Times] James and Heat Too Much for Celtics (Tue, 29 May 2012 05:03:24 GMT)

    Led by LeBron James’ 32 points, the Miami Heat enjoyed a convincing 93-79 win over the Boston Celtics on Monday to grab a 1-0 lead in their Eastern Conference championship series.

  • [New York Times] Celtics Drop Game 1 to Heat, 93-79 (Tue, 29 May 2012 04:14:50 GMT)

    For nine minutes, the Boston Celtics were vintage. Everything was working, points were coming in bunches, the Miami crowd was rendered quiet and a big deficit disappeared.

  • [New York Times] James Scores 32 as Heat Run Past Celtics in Game 1 (Tue, 29 May 2012 04:39:09 GMT)

    The way LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are rolling right now, one bad quarter is hardly too much for the Miami Heat to overcome.

  • [New York Times] James and Heat Too Much for Celtics (Tue, 29 May 2012 03:33:29 GMT)

    Led by LeBron James’ 32 points, the Miami Heat enjoyed a convincing 93-79 win over the Boston Celtics on Monday to gain a 1-0 lead in their Eastern Conference championship series.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: Western Conference Finals Preview (Tue, 29 May 2012 01:57:35 GMT)

    It would be easy to label the Western Conference finals as a battle of young versus old, but that may be unfair to the San Antonio Spurs as it is not clear that Tim Duncan actually ages.

  • Knicks Morning News (Monday, May 28 2012)

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Playoffs | Western Conference Finals Game 1: Spurs 101, Thunder 98: Strong Finish Boosts Spurs in Game 1 (Mon, 28 May 2012 06:13:36 GMT)

    Manu Ginobili scored 26 points as the Spurs, who are undefeated in the playoffs, beat the Thunder in the first game of the Western Conference finals.

  • [New York Times] N.B.A. Playoffs | Western Conference Finals: Spurs and Thunder Have Star Power Of Their Own (Mon, 28 May 2012 07:04:07 GMT)

    The Western Conference finals aren’t as glamorous as the matchup in the East, but its combatants were 16-1 in the playoffs entering Sunday’s game.

  • [New York Times] Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand Could Be Part of 76ers’ Changes (Mon, 28 May 2012 02:21:17 GMT)

    Philadelphia knocked off Chicago in the opening round and stretched Boston to a Game 7, but now comes the hard part — turning the Sixers into a consistent championship contender.

  • [New York Times] Spurs Get ‘Nasty’ to Take 1-0 Lead Over Thunder (Mon, 28 May 2012 07:36:43 GMT)

    Trailing in the fourth quarter, Gregg Popovich snarled an order in the huddle that the NBA Coach of the Year punctuated with a sharp and angry sweep of his hand.

  • [New York Times] Thunder Can’t Finish Near-Upset in ‘Nasty’ Game 1 (Mon, 28 May 2012 05:24:53 GMT)

    The Oklahoma City Thunder almost did it: Almost stopped one of the longest winning streaks in NBA history, started the Western Conference finals with an upset and finally shed their underdog label.

  • [New York Times] Unstoppable Spurs Silence Thunder (Mon, 28 May 2012 05:03:06 GMT)

    The San Antonio Spurs taught Oklahoma City a lesson in championship poise with a 101-98 win on Sunday that stretched their remarkable win streak to 19 games and earned them a 1-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals.

  • [New York Times] ‘Nasty’ Spurs Strike First Against Thunder (Mon, 28 May 2012 06:08:52 GMT)

    It’s a catchphrase likely coming soon to fan T-shirts, Internet memes and the lexicon of the NBA playoffs for the foreseeable future.

  • [New York Times] Wade: Heat-Celtics Was ‘Inevitable’ Matchup (Mon, 28 May 2012 02:47:52 GMT)

    In 2010, Boston ousted Dwyane Wade in the first round and LeBron James in the second round. A year later, Wade and James were teammates and turned the tables, sending the Celtics into the offseason.

  • [New York Times] Spurs School Young Thunder in Fourth to Take 1-0 Lead (Mon, 28 May 2012 03:33:34 GMT)

    The San Antonio Spurs gave Oklahoma City a lesson in championship poise with a 101-98 victory on Sunday that stretched their remarkable win streak to 19 games and gave them the early advantage in the Western Conference Finals.

  • [New York Times] Off the Dribble: Western Conference Finals Preview (Mon, 28 May 2012 00:51:49 GMT)

    It would be easy to label the Western Conference finals as a battle of young versus old, but that may be unfair to the San Antonio Spurs as it is not clear that Tim Duncan actually ages.