The Denver Nuggets lost arguably the biggest star from their 57-win 2012-2013 team that went into the NBA Playoffs as the three seed in the Western Conference. Guard Andre Iguodala declined his option to stay with Denver next season and then declined their offer to him as an unrestricted free-agent as he agreed to a deal with the Golden State Warriors.
Though the Nuggets still have talent on their roster, Iguodala leaves a hole. Not only does his absence hurt their defense on the perimeter, but it also takes away a veteran leader and guiding voice on the floor for Denver. Obviously, someone is going to have to step up and be that type of player in the upcoming season. One of the prime candidates is Ty Lawson.
In just his fourth NBA season last year, Lawson played in 73 games for Denver and averaged 16.7 points, 6.9 assists, 2.7 boards and 1.5 steals in 34.4 minutes per game while shooting a solid 46.1 percent from the field and 36.6 percent from beyond-the-arc.
Lawson has tremendous upside as a point guard for the Nuggets for a number of reasons. One is his ability to affect the game in a variety of ways. Not only is he a solid shooter and playmaker in the half-court, but he also is one of the best players in the league when his team gets out in transition.
However, the 25-year-old Lawson has never had to take on the onus of being a leader for an NBA team. He has to be able to not only score and make plays for his teammates, but he has to be the guy picking up his teammates emotionally and directing traffic on the floor. This Nuggets team could either repeat their success or fall off the table this year. A lot of their success will depend on if Lawson can be a leader or if he shows he’s not that type of player.