BOSTON — 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.''
Fields was a four-year player at Stanford and is 22. Still, without NBA experience, it's stunning that he looks more polished than Danilo Gallinari. In fact, Fields, the 39th pick in the draft, is playing so well he may play himself to Denver in a potential Carmelo Anthony deal.
Even after Fields' superb summer league, D'Antoni still didn't see him cracking the rotation.
"In the summer, I thought no way, but he keeps getting better,'' D'Antoni said.
Fields' emergence has allowed D'Antoni to have Wilson Chandler become the Sixth Man - a coaching decision that looks genius after one game. Chandler popped off the bench last night to score a team-high 22 in replacing foul-plagued Timofey Mozgov after three minutes. Chandler now is the early frontrunner for Sixth Man of the Year.
David Lee racked up 17 points and 15 rebounds in his Warriors debut - a win over the Rockets...The decision on the final roster spot between Shawne Williams and Patrick Ewing Jr. may not be as close as reported. Williams, who had another big practice today, impressed the coaching staff with his silky shooting and some players even went up to D'Antoni to lobby for the former first-round "bust'', presumably Amar'e Stoudemire. Stoudemire's agent is Happy Walters, who also represents Williams. D'Antoni has advised Ewing to head to Europe to make some money and work on his game with a chance to come back next year...Asked about Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov's quote that Stoudemire looked sad in his Brooklyn billboard like he wanted to play in that borough, the Knicks superstar snapped, "Not quite.''
[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]