Don’t Overlook Ty Lawson And The Denver Nuggets

Posted by By at 31 December, at 09 : 39 AM Print

Don’t Overlook Ty Lawson And The Denver Nuggets

Over the summer it looked like the Denver Nuggets were going to lose too much talent and not replace it with enough to be considered a legitimate factor in the Western Conference playoff picture this year. Shooting guard Arron Afflalo was a target for many teams. So was starting center Nene. Last year’s team leader in 3-pointers made (J.R. Smith), Kenyon Martin, and Wilson Chandler opted to head over to China to play during the lockout. Raymond Felton was traded away on draft day, although the Nuggets did receive Andre Miller in return. The return of Afflalo and Nene was a big boost and yes it is early in season, but it looks like the Denver Nuggets will be just fine.

Ty Lawson impressed towards the end of last season and has looked even better though the first 3 games of this season. One of the quicker players the league, Lawson has shouldered more of the scoring load so far and has done so to the tune of 22 points per game. Al Harrington is playing like he did during the middle part of his career in stints with the Hawks, Pacers, and Warriors. Nene’s numbers though the first 3 are almost identical to last year’s. Danilo Gallinari hasn’t shot the ball the way he’s capable of but it’s only matter of time before he finds his stroke. Arron Afflalo can be counted on for his defense on a nightly basis and will knock down the open shot. Andre Miller is often forgotten about when it comes to quality point guards, but he’s as consistent as any in the league and is averaging over 8 assists off the bench. Chris Anderson brings defense and energy as a reserve, as do Rudy Fernandez and Corey Brewer.

A few months ago it looked like depth would be a problem for this year’s team. Now it looks like the Nuggets might be among the deeper teams in the league and that bodes well with a compressed schedule. Denver led the league in scoring last year with 107 per game and are even better this season (111 ppg). They still give up more points than George Karl probably prefers, which put them in a hole against Portland last night that proved to be too deep to dig themselves out of, but on most nights it should be good enough to get them a win with the way they can score.

Where the Nuggets finish in the Western Conference is tough to say. The Mavericks aren’t as bad as their current record indicates. Neither are the Grizzlies. The Lakers shouldn’t finish 33-33. The Hornets probably won’t finish with the third best record in the west and, although I like the Mark Jackson hire by Golden State, the Warriors probably won’t be the #4 seed when all is said and done. Denver finished as the #5 seed last year and I can see them around there again. They’ll be as entertaining to watch as they usually are. They don’t have what you would consider a legitimate superstar although Lawson looks like a breakout candidate in his third season. What they do have is 8-9 solid, interchangeable parts that you’ll probably see in the postseason yet again.

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