NBA Prospects: Landry Fields
How well will the Pac-10′s leading scorer transition to the L?
by Sam Cadet
Times may be hard for unranked Stanford as they wade in the middle of the Pac-10 standings. But Landry Fields has blossomed into a star for the Cardinal as he amped up his numbers this season. The senior swingman is a top 10 scorer nationally and is a major nominee for Pac-10 player of the year. All-America selection nods aren’t farfetched either. Landry has made major strides in his last year and he has plenty of upside as an NBA career is in his sights. Nonetheless, there are some noticeable kinks in his game that are worth griping about. Read on and see if Landry Fields is NBA ready or just gassed as such due to a breakout year.
Fields is far from a one trick pony when it comes to getting buckets. He has a solid spot up J, can put the ball on the floor and can score with his back to the basket. Landry is even good for the floaters off the dribble and can finish in the paint. His three point shooting hasn’t been the greatest this season but he’s not awful from behind the stripe. Nevertheless his form has enough promise for him to call attention on the perimeter in the League.
Landry is quick in the open court and can make a poster out of defenders if he creates enough room. He’s also good for put back dunks. This advantage will be vital in the pro game as he’ll have to finish against faster, stronger defenders as a swingman. Additionally it’ll be interesting to see if he can keep up on the wing in a league full of swift slashers. His speed also comes in handy for his next asset.
Two steals a contest with multiple 3+ steal efforts proves Landry’s patience on the ball and in the passing lanes. It’s one of the biggest turnarounds in his game aside from scoring and it’s not like he wasn’t picking pockets last year. He can make a killing if he can get picks when teams rotate the ball or set up isos.
This strong point may be largely attributed to the NCAA-level ball he’s up against. But a healthy amount of his 8 boards a night come from playing the offensive glass. Going for rebounds as well as steals says something about his ability to hustle for more scoring opportunities as a scorer and a team player.
Fields can get kind of careless with the ball. Whether it’s a bad pass or getting too dribble-happy on the wing he’ll have to defer to the point more until he improves his offensive awareness. Additionally, it’s somewhat nagging to get on his low rate of dimes as the team’s top scorer but they go hand in hand when you look at his assists to turnover ratio.
It’s somewhat perplexing that Landry’s capable agility and length doesn’t rake in more swats. It’s especially concerning when you notice he’s just as big if not bigger than most of the guards and forwards he goes up against.
Thankfully this is a snag that can be alleviated with practice and dedication so it’s not a huge deal. Plus with Field’s growth as a scorer you’d assume that he’d highlight this flaw when transitioning to the pros like many before him. Nevertheless it’s something that he has to assess as he goes to the line often.
When Landry drives most of the time he’ll attempt to finish at the rim or dish it out to a teammate. He seldom shoots off the dribble because the defense he’s currently up against allows it. He won’t have the luxury to coast into the lane and attract attention as often at the pro-level. If he wants to carry on his reputation as a prolific scorer he’ll have to sharpen this difficult technique to the repertoire. If not then he’ll find that those scoring lanes won’t be open for exploitation nearly as often.
Landry’s offensive skill set looks great now but it’ll have to adapt to a much faster NBA game. This may not be as big a hurdle as it sounds as he’s quick enough to become a scoring option off the bench. The main issue for him will be learning how to take better care of the ball against seasoned vets. He already gives it away too often against amateur level competition so it’ll be a sore spot in his rookie season should he get proper PT. Fields is a first rounder as he has the right size and athletic range to be a competent 3 in the Association. He can sneak into the Lottery if he can somehow lead Stanford can into the NCAA Tournament and has an impressive showing.