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A cautionary tale for Patrick McCaw

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There will be no Warrior Wonder for the Rockets game because tonight’s tank commander gave me flashbacks.

Golden State Warriors v Dallas Mavericks - Consolation Round
How the mighty have fallen
Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

Pop quiz question for y’all... who was fourth in the voting for Rookie of the Year in 2010-11 behind Blake Griffin, John Wall and Demarcus Cousins?

This player finished the 2010-11 season with averages of 9.7 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists, one steal, while shooting .497% from the floor, .393% from three, and starting 81 of 82 games on a playoff team.

He even made the All-Rookie first team ahead of Paul George.

I’ll give you one final clue; he almost played for the Warriors’ summer league team in 2016 alongside our man Patrick McCaw.

Still don’t know?

Well, it was Stanford’s own Landry Fields. Fields was drafted with the 39th pick by the New York Knicks in 2010 to a typical Knicks draft-night fan reaction.

Oh sorry, wrong draft.

(By the way, we’d be happy to take that guy off your hands if you like? How does Kevon Looney and a second round pick sound? We’ll even throw in Javale McGee to make the salaries match! Oh wait? You want to give up a pick?! Ok, it’s a deal.)

From all-rookie team to sophomore slump

Fields quickly established himself as a real budding star in Mike D’Antoni’s up-tempo offense.

His sharp off-ball cutting, continuous movement, and solid defense (for a rookie) turned him into a fan favourite. He was even hitting threes at a decent rate despite a sloooooooow release.

So much so, in fact, that he was the one piece the Knicks wouldn’t give up in the absolute reaming that was the Carmelo Anthony trade.

And then… to be fair to Fields several things happened.

As soon as Anthony joined the ball movement ground to a halt. The lockout came and in an effort to speed up that shot he spent that summer away from the team trying to rebuild his shot.

His second season he struggled. In particular his shooting cratered from to .256% from three and .562% from the line.

Oh, Canada

But there was still hope. The Toronto Raptors offered him a full mid level exception contract, mainly to stop the Knicks from trading him for Steve Nash, who they were also after.

Fields started off his Raptors career as a defensive specialist, but a nagging elbow injury messed with his shot further, and his time dwindled.

Only a few short years after looking like he could be a decent player in the league he was out.

Oh, what could have been...

Deja vu

Why do I bring this up now?

Well I am having a severe case of deja vu with Pat McCaw.

I see a promising rookie drafted in the second round, who thrived on sharp off-ball movement and decent defense, frankly turning to dust in his sophomore year.

The are many specific things that messed up Fields promising career, not least the elbow injury.

They are not the same player - for starters McCaw is a much better ball handler.

They are not in the same organizational culture - the current Warriors are the polar opposite of the dysfunction that always engulfs Madison Square Garden.

McCaw may not have been wholly responsible for last night’s mess in Houston, though he led the team with a -13 in 20 minutes.

It’s hard to win when Steph Curry goes 6-for-20 and has as many turnovers as buckets. Or when Coach Kerr insists on starting Zaza Pachulia against one of the most mobile big-men around, who plays in the most pick-and-roll heavy scheme in the league.

But sometimes once you’ve seen something, it’s hard to unsee it. The bobbled passes, the blown coverages, the missed bunnies, the shots clanking off the rim.

I’ve seen it all before. I just hope it turns out a lot better for our man McCaw.

Poll

Who was your Tank Commander against the Rockets tonight?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    Patrick McCaw
    (126 votes)
  • 18%
    Zaza Pachulia
    (144 votes)
  • 50%
    Stephen Curry
    (402 votes)
  • 8%
    #LandryFieldsRookieSeason4EVA
    (68 votes)
  • 6%
    Other (answer in the comments please)
    (52 votes)
792 votes total Vote Now