Landry Fields gets a fresh start tonight in Cleveland

He’s missed the last six weeks with an odd elbow injury that messed with his shot and his confidence, but Landry Fields will mark his return to the Raptors lineup tonight in Cleveland.

The last time we saw Fields, he chipped in two points in 19 minutes against the Mavericks on November 7, completing one of the worst five-game stretches I think I’ve ever seen from a Raptor.

How bad was it? Fields averaged 2.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists in over 21 minutes per game as Toronto’s starting small forward, shooting 20.8 per cent from the field without a single made three-pointer to his credit.

An obvious way of looking at it is that he can’t be any worse than he was in that season opening stretch, and if the ulnar nerve entrapment that plagued him really was the root cause of his shooting woes, then perhaps the Raptors are about to get an unexpected boost.

Given that his embarrassing play came in a small sample of games, I’m willing to give Landry the benefit of the doubt for now, but most fans won’t be giving him a long leash to redeem himself and that’s understandable given the three-year, $18.75 million contract he’s locked into.

If Fields can put his struggles behind him and returns as the player he’s capable of being – a solid defender and rebounder who can spread the floor, can get to the basket and who hits the odd clutch shot – I maintain that he can be a solid glue-guy type player for the Raptors going forward, but he’s also going to have to earn his minutes back with Alan Anderson, Terrence Ross and even Mickael Pietrus giving Toronto competent minutes at the two and three spots right now.

Here’s hoping tonight marks the arrival of the Landry Fields I thought the Raptors were getting when they shelled out the money this summer, because early results this season indicated that that the “poison pill” contract turned out to be more toxic for the Raptors than it ever was for the Knicks.

Comments (11)

  1. Agreed.

    This team is so desperate for talent at that position that Alan Anderson has become a game changer. Cringe.

  2. I really think that people are too quick to call Fields a waste of money. How much this injury affected his game, who really knows. But I think that we are going to see a much different Fields than the one we saw at the beginning of the season.

    • Sure, but we’re all still smarting over the Kleiza deal, in a similar situation: big contact, player gets hurt, never lives up to expectations or the contact, and now we’re stuck. So you can understand the angst and anxiety.

      • Sure I can understand it, but he’s only played 5 games in a Raptor uniform. Too soon to tell if he’s going to be worth it or not.

        If at the end of the season, he shows little to no improvement, then I can agree with it.

    • I’m actually excited to see Fields. If Fields can hold down the fort at the three we can finally amnesty Klieza to make some room for this summer.

  3. Bryan’s “Brick House” strategy can now take full effect. Are we almost out of excuses for MLSE and BC yet, I ask all the apologists? When Fields continues to be terrible and expensive, the list of flotsam will be one note longer. And it’s already long. I have seen enough to fire this man who should never have been extended.

  4. Far few Raptors fans even decided to educate themselves on Landry’s injury instead they through insults at him and calling the injury and excuse. That nerve gives feeling to the little finger and half of the ring finger. It also controls most of the little muscles in the hand that help with fine movements, and some of the bigger muscles in the forearm that help you make a strong grip.

    When that nerve gets entrapped your pinkie and ring finger start making a claw motion and it progresses to the point where your whole hand is fixed into a bent claw like position.

    • So you’re saying Landry wasn’t ‘Master of his Domain’?…

      • Have you seen pics of Fields’ girlfriend? Landry doesn’t need to master his domain … those fields are not laying fallow.

        • I have, which is what makes this so confusing. Maybe she wouldn’t give it out til he started playing better? Those shooting percentages aren’t making any female wet…

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