Stanford graduate and Knicks rookie Landry Fields had a solid season opener on Tuesday night, playing 30 minutes in New York’s 98-93 victory over the Toronto Raptors and leading all Knicks starters in +/-. According to the New York Post, Knicks fans should probably get used to Fields being in the starting lineup:
This is no shooting-guard experiment. Mike D’Antoni foresees rookie Landry Fields spending the entire season as the starting shooting guard.
“All year,” D’Antoni said when asked how long this could last. “I’d be surprised if he can’t do it.”
Fields had a rock-solid NBA debut last night in Toronto, with 11 points, making 4-of-8 shots – 3-of-6 from 3-point distance. The gritty ex-Stanford player also had four rebounds and tomorrow the second-round pick who wasn’t on some NBA draft boards goes up against shooting guard legend Ray Allen at the new Boston Garden.
“The best part of his game is all the little stuff,” D’Antoni said. “He’ll do what the game plan is. It’s the consistency of all the details of the game that makes him unique. Normally you look at inconsistency as a rookie but I don’t see that. He didn’t look nervous whatsoever.”
In Summer League, Fields’ feel for the “little things” was quickly apparent — he always knows where to be and what to do with the ball in any situation. Mike D’Antoni’s system isn’t just about speed and three-point shooting — it’s about having versatile players who have enough feel for the game to improvise effectively and defend multiple positions, and that’s what Fields does best.
Also, D’Antoni doesn’t have many great alternatives at the starting two-guard spot right now; potential Fields replacements Roger Mason and Bill Walker combined to go 0-9 from the field in the Knicks’ opener, so Knicks fans had better hope the 22-year old rookie is up to the challenge of starting.