The Denver Nuggets won their fourth game in a row on Monday night with a home in over the Indiana Pacers. It was also the 9th win in the last 11 games for the Nuggets who are now 10 games over .500 for the first time this season. What makes the Nuggets interesting is the fact that they are winning without a super star. In a league that is set up to reward the stars, the Nuggets are going against the grain and winning.
They may not have that one player that the TV Networks drool over but they do have one player who makes them go. Ty Lawson is the heartbeat of the team, as he goes so go the Nuggets. Lawson is playing the best basketball of his career over the last few weeks and that, more than anything, explains the recent success of the Nuggets.
The NBA is loaded with great point guards like Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Rajon Rondo, Derrick Rose and more. The name that is never mentioned among those names is Lawson, but maybe it should be. When he plays like he played versus the Pacers, he and the Nuggets are almost impossible to stop.
It’s too easy just to focus on the numbers when it comes to Lawson although he continues to pit up outstanding stats including; 18 points and 7 assists on Monday night. The biggest asset that Lawson brings to the Nuggets is attitude and leadership.
Before this season, there was some question about his ability to lead which a point guard must be able to do. Following a terrible home loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves earlier this month, Lawson called the effort unacceptable and he pointed to himself first. Ever since that loss, the Nuggets have been more focused and played with more of a purpose.
Lawson has also done an excellent job of setting the pace for the Nuggets, he’s been aggressive on both sides of the floor and his defense is getting better. His teammates are following Lawson’s lead and the effort as a team has been much more consistent during this 9-2 stretch. The job of a leader is to perform well themselves and to make everyone around them better, Lawson is doing both. For the first time since Chauncey Billups, head coach George Karl has a floor leader who understands how his coach wants to play.
He has certainly had help from Andre Iguodala, Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried and others but Lawson is setting the pace. He’s not a superstar but Lawson is certainly the engine of the Nuggets.
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