With Andre Iguodala and former head coach George Karl both no longer with the Denver Nuggets, it’s been clear for quite a while now that this team is going to look vastly different in the 2013-2014 NBA season. One big change for them is that a lot more work and responsibility is going to fall on the shoulders of point guard Ty Lawson this season.
Lawson had his best season since entering the league for years ago in the Nuggets 2012-2013 campaign, helping lead them to 57 wins. In 73 games, the speedy point guard averaged 16.7 points, 6.9 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 34.4 minutes per game while converting on 46.1 percent of his shots and 36.6 percent of his three-point attempts.
Coming into this season, though, it was still a bit of an uncertainty how the 25-year-old would handle a larger, more important role at the helm of this Nuggets team. If the Nuggets first preseason game is any indication, though, Lawson is going to handle it just fine.
In the Nuggets 97-88 preseason victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night, Lawson looked fantastic. In 27 minutes on the court, he finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and one steal while shooting an impressive 7-10 from the floor and turning the ball over only one time.
Possibly the biggest concern about Lawson this season was how he would perform in new head coach Brian Shaw’s offense, one separate from Karl’s up-tempo offense that the team sported last season. With his elite speed, Lawson excelled getting out in transition and creating, but him working in the half-court was something relatively new to him.
Though it’s a small sample size with him going up against an unimpressive Lakers backcourt, Lawson looked good running the Nuggets new system and without Iguodala on the wing supporting him. There’s always the chance that one preseason game could be a mirage, but Lawson has been steadily improving his game over his short career and it doesn’t seem like he’s breaking the trend now.
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