The Denver Nuggets have high expectations for Ty Lawson for the 2013-14 NBA season. After averaging 18.8 points and 6.4 assists following the 2013 All-Star break, Lawson proved he can be one of the elite point guards in the league.
The former UNC guard has made great strides in his four-year NBA career.
In his rookie season, Lawson played sparingly behind veteran point guard Chauncey Billups. Lawson got his opportunity to be the starter in 2011 when Billups and Carmelo Anthony were traded to the New York Knicks.
Since the transaction, Lawson has averaged 16.2 points, 6.8 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.44 steals.
This week, Lawson and fellow teammate Kenneth Faried will take part in a USA Basketball mini-camp. Lawson will compete with Mike Conley, Jrue Holliday, Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard and Kemba Walker for a roster spot on the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.
The best player Lawson can be compared to is Los Angeles Clipper’s Chris Paul.
Both guards have incredible quickness that allows them to get a lot of steals and fast-break points The two also get many trips to the free-throw line by aggressively driving to the basket. The biggest difference between them is that Paul averaged a higher number of assists (9.7) last season.
Expect Lawson to get more assists in 2013-14.
Now that JaVale McGee will start for the Nuggets, Lawson will have more offensive weapons around him. The two didn’t play a ton together last season, as former coach George Karl primarily played McGee with Andre Miller on the floor.
Both McGee and Faried are known for their monstrous alley-oop dunks. If Lawson has improved his pick-and-roll abilities, he will rack-up assists.
Lawson will have more leadership roles this season.
With Andre Iguodala now playing for the Golden State Warriors, Lawson will need to step up in the locker room. First-year coach Brian Shaw will require Lawson to help lead his young team.
Everything is coming together for Lawson. With the new-look Nuggets, Lawson will make the NBA All-Star team in 2014.