Landry Fields' slump is a confidence crisis, coach says

NEW YORK -- Going into tonight's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, it has been six straight games since Landry Fields had more than three buckets in a single game.

You have to go back to two Sundays ago, on the afternoon the Knicks scored 9 points in the first quarter and lost in Milwaukee, to find a game in which Fields was productive (13 points on 5-for-11 shooting) on the offensive end of the floor.

Getting production out of Fields was not a problem before the big trade, but he has struggled to fit into a rhythm with the new players in the Knicks' rotation, and he has steadily been losing minutes to Anthony Carter, Roger Mason, Bill Walker and Toney Douglas at the 2-guard spot.

Fields scored just 2 points in 15 minutes in Wednesday night's victory over New Jersey, dropping his scoring average below 10 points (9.9). He had only 3 points in the previous game, a victory over Orlando.

Coach Mike D'Antoni offered an explanation late this afternoon, making one of his strongest statements to date that there is a confidence crisis with the rookie from Stanford.

"It's because of the pace, more or less," D'Antoni said. "He was real smart about cutting without the ball, and leaking out, and all that stuff, and if that’s not there then he starts pressing a little bit. That's the problem. Then you start doing something that he’s not adept at doing, not now – we can work on his game and try to expand it -- but when he starts doing it, he makes a mistake, then psychologically he's like, 'Well, I'm not playing real well.' You worry about it, you lose your confidence, then it all ties in together.

"But we’ll keep pushing and trying to get him back to where he's comfortable with what we’re doing, and we’ve got seven games to do that," D'Antoni said.