What do you get when you combine Landry Fields and Alan Anderson?
Besides good results?
While there are abundant reasons for the Raptors’ eight wins in nine tries (the rapid progress of Terrence Ross and Ed Davis, the superb play of Jose Calderon, the return of Kyle Lowry), the team has thrived without Andrea Bargnani in large part because of the play of Fields and Anderson at the power forward spot.
“They’re similar in that both are tough guys, their energy is contagious,” said coach Dwane Casey. “Both of them have been around and they’re mature men. They play off each other on that second unit.”
Offensively, the two are distinct.
“They play the same position but they are two different players,” said forward Amir Johnson. “Landry I think is more of a slasher and Anderson is more of a catch-off-the-dribble, catch-and-shoot guy.”
The numbers bear that out. The 30-year-old Anderson is averaging 10.5 points per game but just two rebounds a night. Fields’ elbow injury has seen the reconstruction of his shooting stroke but he has banked 16 boards over his last two games and 4.3 rebounds a night overall.
“I think Alan is offensively a little more gifted in terms of scoring and shooting the ball,” said the 24-year-old Fields.
“Landry’s a better cutter than I am,” Anderson said. “He moves pretty well without the ball. I probably shoot the outside ball better than him so we complement each other.”
The bond between the two was cemented over six weeks when both were sidelined by injury. Fields needed elbow surgery. Anderson was recovering from a foot injury.
“We were riding the bike together. We were doing our sprinting together,” Anderson said. “Landry’s a real cool guy. I’m a jokester. He’s a jokester. We get along. Even on the court we’re joking. I’ll say ‘you missed me on that one.’ He’ll say ‘I meant to.’
Since each is at home at small forward, the two can play apart or together but when teamed on the floor they are the hub of the team’s best defensive lineup.
“Even when we’re playing out there we switch a lot. He’s always talking to me, I’m always talking to him,” Fields said. “Playing out there is a lot of fun with him. He gets it and he makes the game that much easier, not just for me but for everyone,” Fields said.