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Landry's 'growing pains'

4/1/2011

Since the Knicks completed the Carmelo Anthony trade on Feb. 22, we’ve talked endlessly about adjustments.

How is Carmelo adjusting to Mike D’Antoni’s offense?

How is D’Antoni adjusting his offense to Carmelo?

Can Amare Stoudemire adjust to Carmelo and share the New York spotlight?

Answers to those questions seem to change after every game.

But one constant is this: Landry Fields has had to make significant adjustments to life with Anthony. And the results have been a mixed.

Fields scored just two points in 15 minutes on Wednesday night in the Knicks’ win over the Nets. He took just two shots and spent the fourth quarter on the bench. Last Monday against the Magic, he had just three points on 1-of-3 shooting in 25 minutes.

“It’s been different. Just kind of different spots where I get the ball, different touches,” Fields said after Wednesday’s game. “But it’s coming along so I’ll be alright.”

Fields briefly lost his starting job last Saturday against the Charlotte Bobcats, as D’Antoni opted to start Toney Douglas in his place. Fields had his best game in two weeks coming off the bench: he finished with 16 points in 34 minutes. He was active all night, getting to the line 12 times and pulling down six rebounds.

Fields averaged just 4.8 rebounds per game in March – his lowest monthly total of the season.

He averaged 9.9 points per game last month – which is similar to what he’s hit for the entire season. But it’s been a roller coaster month (six games of six points or less; six games of 15 points or more), which is common for an NBA rookie this late in the season.

After the Knicks win over the Nets on Wednesday, Fields attributed some of his struggles to getting used to Anthony.

He said adjusting to Anthony – a player who dominates the ball and inevitably takes touches away from Fields – has been a “game-by-game process.”

In particular, Fields said he hasn’t gotten shots in the same spots on the floor since Anthony’s Feb. 23 debut.

“I think before the playoffs hit … I’ll have a pretty good idea of where I can find those spots and be most successful,” he said. “It’s just a process. You have growing pains. You just have to bite your teeth and go through them.”

CHAUNCEY FEELING LOOSE: After scoring a Knick career-high 33 points against the Nets, Chauncey Billupssaid his left thigh is feeling “healthier.” Billups missed six games in early March with a deep left thigh bruise suffered during a collision with Dwight Howard.

“I have been well for about four or five days,” Billups said. “Feeling loose. The strength is back in my thigh. I can move and stop and go on it … I am just feeling a lot healthier now.”

MIKE SAYS AMARE HAS TO REBOUND: Here is D’Antoni’s take on Amare Stoudemire’s one-rebound performance against the Nets: "He knows he has to rebound," the coach said. "We'll get his legs back and he'll be fine. He knows that's one area where he has to get us consistently close to 10 rebounds. I'm sure he'll be the first one to admit that. We'll get him going, and the schedule now is a little more favorable."