Ty Lawson is the quintessential leader of the Denver Nuggets. In my opinion, he should be considered one of the elite point guards in the NBA today. His speed and quickness set the tone for the Nuggets in the half-court set as well as in transition. His innate ability to get to the rim enables him to be a threat to score on the interior, or provide shooters on the wing open looks at three-point baskets. Of course, when you draw two or three defenders, someone will always be open from beyond the arc.
Lawson continues to grow as a leader for Denver, and I predict he will be an All Star this year. He has continued to grow as a player since he was drafted by the Nuggets from North Carolina, and has increased his points and assists per game average since his rookie season. Known as a penetrator, he has developed into a lethal mid-range and long-distance shooter over the years as well. Much like Chris Paul, Tony Parker and a soon to return Derrick Rose for the Chicago Bulls, Lawson is an elite point guard, and he needs to be mentioned in the same breath as these players. All four of these elite point guards can attack the basket off the dribble, seemingly score at will when needed and distribute the ball to shooters and slashers.
If Lawson played in a bigger market city, would he get more respect and praise? Yes. Will the league see him explode this year under the wing of his new head coach, Brian Shaw. Yes. For those of you who do not see Lawson as an elite point guard in the league, I believe you will strongly consider putting him in your top five category of point guards by the end of the 2013-14 season.
Lawson averaged 16.7 points per game and 6.9 assists per game last season. His numbers improved to 21.3 points per game, 3.3 rebounds per game and 8.0 assists per game in the playoffs. His efficiency rating while on the floor in the playoffs was +21.17. Also, consider the fact that Lawson has only played four seasons in the NBA.
Now, let us compare Paul’s numbers from last year. Paul averaged 16.9 points per game and 9.7 assists per game last season. In the playoffs, he boosted his numbers much like Lawson to 22.8 points per game, 4.0 rebounds per game and 6.3 assists per game. Comparatively, CP3’s efficiency rating was +25.67 in the playoffs. He has played eight seasons in the NBA.
Both teams lost in the opening round of the playoffs in six games. Of course, Paul and Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers are considered superstars. In Denver, no one in the sports industry believed the Nuggets had one star.
Well, I believe I have proven that Lawson should be thought of as a superstar, and an elite point guard in the NBA.