Ty Lawson has been a staple for the Denver Nuggets starting lineup since the Carmelo Anthony trade, that sent the cherished Chauncey Billups away from Denver, but what can Nuggets fans expect from the speedy point guard during the 2012-2013 NBA season.
In Lawson’s first season in Denver he averaged just over 8 points a game and 3.1 assists. As he started in more games and quarterbacked the offense, his numbers improved. His second season, he averaged 11.7 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game while playing 26.3 minutes. Last season was his best yet with averages of 16.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 6.6 assists while playing 34.8 minutes.
No doubt about it, Lawson is the clear-cut leader for the Nuggets as his aggressive nature infiltrates the rest of the team and when the whole Denver team is aggressive, there is little chance in stopping it.
Even though Andre Miller led the Nuggets in 2011-2012 in assists, it was Lawson who had the most assists in one game with 15 on March 2, 2012 against the Houston Rockets. Also, Lawson showed what he could do with his speed as he had the highest amount of steals of the Nuggets with 8 on December 29, 2011 against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Lawson is one of the most underrated point guards in the league and is a top 10 point guard at that. His speed is one of his best assets and his perimeter shot is something that most opponents look past. As the season went on in 2011-2012, fans saw games where Lawson took the reigns and it was a blessing to watch. Other times he deferred way too often and shied away from taking “the” shot.
George Karl, coach of the Nuggets, has said it often enough, Denver thrives when Lawson is aggressive, slicing the defense, and penetrating to get to the basket. That’s exactly what happened during the postseason, nearly helping to lead the Nuggets to a first-round upset over the Los Angeles Lakers by averaging 19 points, 6 assists, and a 23.2 PER.
Not to mention, his FG and 3-point percentage actually increased after the All-Star break in 2012, before the break his numbers were 47.3% and 30.5% respectively. Then, after the All-Star break, his FG% improved to 50.1% and his 3-point percentage skyrocketed to 40.7.
The 2012-2013 season will be the second FULL season for the speedy guard and one could predict it may be a breakout year for him.
My not-so bold prediction for Lawson is this: he could to average 18-20 points per game, and see an increase in his three-point percentage. Lawson may even see an increase in his assists numbers, but that depends on the play-making responsibilities of Miller and Andre Iguodala.
Any way it’s sliced, Lawson is going to be dynamite in 2012-2013.