Number 65 in Your Draft Books, Number 1 in Your Hearts

Posted: January 5, 2011 in Fans and Opinions, NBA
Tags: , , , , , ,

By Jesse Schneiderman

With the 39th pick in the NBA draft, the New York Knicks select…. Landry Fields, University of Stanford.” I groaned. The Knicks needed a scoring guard, someone who could help Amare score and keep the team afloat, but they passed on Lance Stephenson, Willie Warren, and DaSean Butler. They really could’ve used a big man, yet didn’t take Solomon Alabi, a true man in the middle with defensive potential, who could help on the boards. New York seriously is going to struggle on the defensive end, so why not take a stopper like Devin Ebanks? I thought all of these things, then a thought crossed my mind that made me shiver: I missed ‘Zeke. Isaiah was fantastic in the draft. He specialized with these late picks where he found gems such as, Wilson Chandler, David Lee, Nate Robinson, and Trevor Ariza. He would’ve killed it here.

Seven months later, sign me up for the church of Donnie (or synagogue, I take him as the Conservative type). The Landry Fields pick is the best in years by anyone in the NBA draft, not just the Knicks. The man whose presence was absent in the 64-man draft guide given to attendees on the night of the draft every year has given the Knicks solid play at the 2-guard and everything they needed.

Scoring? He puts in over 10 points a game and makes over 35% of his threes, helping  stretch the floor and give the Knicks the staple of their offense – their three point prowess. They’re second in the league in attempts per game and in the top ten in three point percentage.

While “Strawberry” Fields could never play center (he stands around 6’7), he provides some much needed “big man” stats. He grabs 7.4 rebounds a game, tying him with Marc Gasol, and putting him ahead of the likes of Brook Lopez, David West, Samuel Dalembert, and He Who Shall Not Be Named But Took His Talents To South Beach. Fields plays fewer minutes than all of them. No guard ranks higher than him on the rebounding list, and the only other one in the top 40 is Dwayne Wade. Safe to say his rebounding has eased the burden created by the lack of having a true center on the roster.

The Knicks are not known for their defense, we all know that, but Fields has quietly become a fantastic defender, averaging over a steal a game. He constantly matches up against quicker shooting guards but, due to his off-the-charts basketball IQ, he still harasses them. Landry guards like that old guy in a pick up game. He annoys opposing guards, hand-checks, gets in the way, and at the end of the day is a super-effective defensive player.

Throw all these together, along with number 6’s team-leading plus/minus per minute numbers (his is at .117, the next closest are Wilson Chandler with .075 and Amare with .051), and Rabbi Walsh hit a home run. With more picks like this one, and the season the Knicks are having, they’ll be competitive for years to come. And if Fields falls out of favor with coaches, fans, or other players, Denver does like him a whole lot (you didn’t think I’d get away without mentioning ‘Melo once, did you?).

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Comments
  1. randy says:

    ur a homo

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