“When something is wrong you, you figure pain is involved,” Fields said, adding that the issue was causing him no discomfort. “So that’s why I was thinking, ‘Is this mental?’ I’m actually fortunate and glad that it was a problem because if this had continued to go and nobody could explain it that would really mess me up mentally.”
Fields said that during training camp, he started to notice his right hand clasping when he went up to take a shot. It was involuntary, and he could do nothing to stop it.
Raptors team officials diagnosed it as a weakness in the area, but could not get more specific. New York City specialist Dr. Andrew Weiland was able to zero in on this particular nerve. According to Fields, Weiland moved the nerve above the bone, which should eliminate the problem.
While there is no way to retroactively prove this, it is possible that the nerve issue was a big part in Fields’ free-throw percentage dropping from 77% in 2010-11 to 56% last year.
“From [training camp] until a week ago I’ve just been trying to play through it, just been trying to work around it,” Fields said. “But I realized with game situations and practice when I have time to really focus on it, it just kind of does it on it’s own. Finally after the Dallas game I went to the trainers and said, ‘Hey something’s really wrong with my hand and we’ve got to get it figured out.’
“I figured I’ll work around this, I’ll get extra shots up. When that didn’t working I started thinking okay something’s wrong here. I know I’m not that bad right now.”