New York Knicks Need to Move Landry Fields to the Bench

Adam FriedgoodContributor IIIJanuary 20, 2012

After a season where Landry Fields was considered a possible Rookie of the Year candidate, his play has drastically declined. Fields is doing none of the things that earned him a starting spot last season and made him a fan favorite in New York.

Last season, Fields’ best attribute was how he relentlessly attacked the glass on both ends of the floor. Amongst all guards in the NBA, Fields was tied in first with Dwyane Wade with 6.4 RPG. He was also fourth amongst all rookies in rebounding, only behind big men Blake Griffin, DeMarcus Cousins and Greg Monroe.

This season, however, Fields has stayed more on the perimeter, avoiding most rebounding situations. He’s only grabbing 3.8 RPG, which is good for only fifth on the team. I know the Knicks added Tyson Chandler, whose biggest strength is his rebounding, to the roster, but that shouldn’t deter Fields from putting in an effort on the boards.

Fields is also playing some of the worst defense out of anybody on the team. Almost every play on defense, Fields looks lost on the court.

Take the game against the Magic, for example.

Throughout the game, Fields was responsible for guarding perimeter shooters Ryan Anderson and J.J. Redick. Like any perimeter defender facing a dominant big man, Fields was also responsible for watching Dwight Howard in the post and coming in to double-team him when he felt there was a high chance of forcing a turnover. Instead, though, Fields was constantly caught in no-man’s land between Howard and his man, and he was burned for numerous threes. In this game, Anderson and Redick combined to shoot 10-of-19 from distance for 51 points.

Landry Fields just looks more timid on the court in all facets of the game. On offense, he’s passing up on many open shots he would have taken last season. Fields is shooting much less than the other starting SGs in the NBA. He currently ranks 43rd amongst all SGs with only 7.1 FGA per game. So far this year, Fields has only shot over 10 shots in two games, and one of them was because Amar’e Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert were both out with injuries.

I am a huge fan of Landry Fields, and I hope he can turn his struggles around. But for now, he needs to move to the bench immediately if he’s not going to shoot, rebound or defend well.