Speedy Lawson gives Nuggets turbo boost off the bench


As the 2010-11 season approaches, Nuggets.com is taking a closer look at each Nuggets player and their prospects for the upcoming season. Assistant coach Chad Iske was kind enough to provide a candid scouting report, which reflects the views of the Nuggets coaching staff as a whole.

Today’s featured player is point guard Ty Lawson, who established himself as one of the league’s top rookies in 2009-10 while serving as the backup to veteran Chauncey Billups. Lawson averaged 8.3 points and 3.1 assists but was inexplicably overlooked in voting for the Rookie-Sophomore Game during All-Star Weekend.

As one of the league’s quickest guards, Lawson is determined to make people take notice in 2010-11. Despite shooting a solid .410 from three-point range, he altered the release point of his jump shot during the offseason and should once again pose a matchup nightmare for opponents as they try to contain him on the perimeter.

After averaging 20.2 minutes per game as a rookie, Lawson is expected to see an increase in playing time as part of his natural development. His additional responsibilities also will allow Billups to stay fresh over the course of the season and into the playoffs.

Here are a few more things to note about Tywon Ronell Lawson as he enters his second NBA season:

NICKNAME: Ty-Law.

PERFORMANCE TO REMEMBER IN 2009-10

Starting in place of the injured Billups, Lawson began the year 2010 with a flourish, recording 23 points, nine assists and three steals in a road victory against the Utah Jazz on Jan. 2. In eight starts, he averaged 17 points, 5.9 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.13 steals.

COACHING STAFF’S ASSESSMENT OF LAST SEASON

“We were really pleased with Ty’s rookie year. It was a tough situation for him to come to a team with a lot of strong-willed veterans. He had some injuries that kind of hurt him, especially near the end of the season, but he really gave us a speed element that we were lacking a little bit and a pick-and-roll element. He was able to use the pick and roll very effectively.”

OUTLOOK FOR 2010-11

“We definitely want him to be a bigger part of the offense, to be more assertive as a leader and more assertive as a scorer and a creator. He has the ability to make everybody around him better. He needs the ball in his hands to do that. He needs to go get the ball and be more assertive.

“We’ve always felt that he’s a much better shooter than his reputation. Even though he’s got other big-time scorers out there with him, we don’t want him to be afraid to take the shot. Sometimes he’s the best option on a particular play. He has to have the confidence to shoot it.”

IN HIS OWN WORDS: WHAT WENT RIGHT LAST SEASON

““I was happy with my shooting. I shot a lot better than people thought I could shoot."

IMPROVEMENTS FOR 2010-11

“I still want to improve my off-the-dribble shooting, three-point percentage and do a better job running the team.”

INDIVIDUAL GOALS

“I’d like to be part of the Rookie-Sophomore game, maybe win the most-improved player award. One of those two things would be great. If I get snubbed this year, it’s going to be crazy.”

STAT THAT BEARS RE-TWEETING
15 Years since a Nuggets rookie recorded six assists in his NBA debut. Lawson had six assists against Utah in the Oct. 28 season-opener. He also scored 17 points in that game, the most by a Nuggets rookie in his debut since Bobby Jackson had 27 on Halloween 1997.


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