The Denver Nuggets’ third-year PG Ty Lawson might be the fastest player in the NBA with the ball in his hands. He is literally and figuratively the Nuggets’ on-court engine. Lawson can shoot the three, blow past defenders in the open court as well as half-court sets and dish the rock with few turnovers in coach George Karl’s speedy, high-scoring offense. The Nuggets lead the league in points per game at 103.5 in large part thanks to the former Tar Heel, 2009 ACC Player of the Year and 2009 NCAA champion.
Lawson leads Denver in points, assists and steals per game with averages of 15.6, 6.7 and 1.3 respectively. And even with his engine running in the red zone, Lawson is able to stay on the court and execute coach Karl’s game plan from the 1-spot. He also leads the Nuggets in minutes played with 35 and averages a mere 1.6 fouls per game.
With Denver perched perilously at the eighth spot in the tough Western Conference at 31-26, Lawson has stepped up his game. In the past eight contests for The Rocky Mountain Ballers, #3 has put up 18.4 ppg, 6.6 apg and 3.4 rpg. On March 26th against the NBA-leading Chicago Bulls, Lawson tied his season high with 27 points in the Nuggets’ 108-91 win.
In each of 24-year-old Lawson’s three seasons in the pros he’s bettered his stats and now competes with a comfort of ability that only the elite players posses. The Nuggets have nine games remaining in this shortened schedule, and each successive contest will increase in importance with regard to postseason participation. Lawson will be Denver’s most important player down the backstretch, and I expect him to rise to the occasion.