Ty Lawson made a superstar play to save the Denver Nuggets in Friday night’s thriller against the Oklahoma City Thunder, however despite his late game heroics, Lawson is still a long way being the star the Nuggets require in order to contend.
The internet just about imploded celebrating Ty Lawson’s game-winning jump shot with 0.2 seconds remaining in the Nuggets’ 105-103 home win against the Thunder, but the occasion also signified just how far Lawson has to go in order to be the point guard capable of lifting the Nuggets into contender status.
Lawson was among a number of Denver Nuggets to suffer from a hectic schedule to begin the season and the inconsistency has hindered his progression into elite point guard status. A disappointing end to 2012 saw Lawson average 13.1 and 14.1 points per game in November and December, while shooting torrid percentages from the floor, and was a step back considering the fourth-year guard was expected to have a breakout season.
January saw Lawson build on his slow start and he has been making notable strides since. His points per game rose in January to 17.9, and then 23.3 in February. His field goal percentage hit .500 for the first time since April. Lawson has, at times, been simply brilliant, but because Denver generates a lot of their points from the wing, from inconsistent scorers such as Andre Iguodala and Danilo Gallinari, they need consistency from the point guard position- something Lawson has not yet been able to provide.
Even in Friday’s big win over the Thunder it was backup point guard Andre Miller who helped turn the game around. While Lawson was having an off night (5-14 shooting, 11 points), Denver was forced to rely on the 36-year-old Miller to slow the pace of the game and provide a clutch basket that kept the Nuggets in the contest.
On a team so deep that it essentially features two starting line-ups, it is understandable Lawson sometimes struggles to leave his mark on the Nuggets. Denver has assembled an intriguing roster capable of a playoff upset or two, but they’ll need Lawson to deliver like a star if they are to win in the postseason.