Originally written on Knicks Journal  |  Last updated 11/18/14


Last season, Landry Fields took the NBA by storm with a rookie campaign that no one could have ever predicted.

Fields transformed from the prospect that barely any top analyst had ever heard of, into the starting two guard for a playoff team in one of the NBA’s biggest markets.

That transformation happened quickly as Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni had enough faith in the second round draft choice to name him the opening night shooting guard and never looked back, inserting Fields in the starting five 81 out of all 82 games last season.

For most NBA players entering their second season, the goal often becomes elevating their game to the next level. How can they improve? Some become more dynamic scorers to increase their point production, and others may because stronger and improve their jumping ability to pull down more rebounds.

For Fields however, the key to a successful sophomore season will be his ability to do more of the season. Consistency will be crucial for the young guard, as the Knicks will need him to maintain his level of play and continue to play with intelligence on the court all season long.

On a team that already features dominating scorers like Amar’e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, and Chauncey Billups, Fields’ ability (or lack there of) to score an abundant amount of points is irrelevant. To open up last season, the then unproven Fields was placed in the starting lineup over then-Knick Wilson Chandler, a career 14 point per game scorer who proved he could score in bunches when need be.

If the Knicks had wanted more of a scoring punch in the starting lineup, they could have had it, and Fields would have been relegated to the bench. Instead, he has found an ideal place in New York to play within his means and be a defensive, hard-nosed cog in Coach D’Antoni’s system.

Fields’ smart and steady off the ball play provided a tremendous balance to a starting lineup that already had enough scoring options. The Stanford grad, who many figured would go undrafted, found himself quickly growing, assigned to guard the likes of Kobe Bryant, Joe Johnson, Ray Allen, and other multi-time all-stars.

Moreover, Fields finished last season as one of the league’s better rebounding shooting guards, finishing with a 6.4 boards per game average. With defense and rebounding being two of the Knicks’ weaker suits, to find a strong presence from their starting shooting guard in both categories was truly a gift.

There’s no denying that Fields was a big part of the team’s success last season, but it’s now time for him to prove he’s more than a one-season wonder. The fact of the matter is that although Fields had a promising rookie campaign, he wavered as the regular season came to a close and the team rolled in (and out) of the playoffs.

Though he finished with still impressive averages of 9.7 points 6.4 boards, and one steal per game, those numbers seem so close, yet so far away from the 11 plus points and near 8 rebounds per game he was producing early on.

With that said, the above theory still holds true. Fields’ success is not dependent on the numbers, simply on his consistency. His sophomore season goal doesn’t need to be to increase his points average up to 12 or 13 like it would be for most rookies.

However, whatever his production turns out to be, it’s important he maintains those numbers as he eases into his role.

Fields admitted to struggling to find his game following the trade for Carmelo Anthony and company, but the simple fact of the matter is, Fields’ role on the Knicks will never change. He was brought in to play defense, rebound the ball, and execute with intelligence on the court. The tangibles and intangibles he brings to the table make him an ideal piece for any playoff team looking to move forward, and that’s why the Knicks need him more than ever. Fields just fits. He’s in the right place at the right time.

Several reports from sources including the New York Post say the Knicks are targeting available veteran shooting guards who are more potent offensive players.

More offense is not quite what the team needs, though Fields ability to hit a jump shot occasionally is imperative. After shooting as high as 52% percent from the field earlier in the season, Fields saw that number sink below under 50% as the season concluded. While he may not a dominant scorer, Fields still needs to consistently be able to hit the corner three or a pull up for a jumper when he finds himself the benefactor of an apparent double team on one of his teammates.

Everything Fields does well is about creating a great deal of balance in the Knicks’ starting lineup. He’s the kind of player who does all the little things correctly. He may not be flashy and/or dominating, but there’s simply no need to be. There are certainly other options out there, but should consistency become one of the top things Fields brings to the table this season, he’s still the right man for the job of starting two guard of the New York Knicks.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Jim Harbaugh being encouraged to take Michigan job

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Wolves trade Corey Brewer to the Rockets

Yankees trade Prado to Marlins for Eovaldi in 5-player deal

Brandon Browner fined $8K for throwing Brandon Gibson to turf

Report: Sharper, NFLers called spiked drinks 'horny juice'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rex Ryan: My wife could coach Tom Brady

Jim Harbaugh won in laser tag by 'hunting' 10-year-old kid

Eddie Lacy is ‘very blind,’ refuses to wear goggles

Michael Phelps pleads guilty to DUI, gets probation

NFL scouts not in love with Amari Cooper?

Report: No teams interested in trading for Lance Stephenson

Video: Swaggy P elbows Steven Adams in throat, gets ejected

Video: Grizzlies buy car for assistant who had his stolen

Video: LeBron takes pass to the face from Dion Waiters

New video of Ray Rice incident emerges

President Obama calls James Franco “James Flacco”

NBA games of the weekend: Rondo's Dallas debut, Bulls-Grizz

Tuscaloosa students will have two days off if Bama plays in National Championship

Brady scares the **** out of his teammates celebrating

Longhorn Network’s yule log? Five hours of BEVO

Will a Chiefs WR finally catch a TD in Week 16?

Jon Lester and the Cubs

The Toronto Raptors reveal their new logo

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Jon Lester and the Cubs

Report: NFL players used 'horny juice'

Top 10 worst NBA related commercials of all-time

Phelps gets probation for DUI

NFL coaches on hot seat in Week 16

The Roy Williams-Terrell Owens horse collar turns 10

Most underpaid NFL players in 2014

Gronk jokes about Brady compliment

In Matt Kemp, did the Dodgers find a pigeon in Padres?

Why the Saints are legit playoff threat

Impact of U.S.-Cuba relations on MLB

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.