Hornets.com 1-on-1: Denver's Ty Lawson
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com
March 14, 2011
Hornets.com caught up with Denver point guard Ty Lawson prior to Mondays Western Conference game in the New Orleans Arena. The 5-foot-11 University of North Carolina product has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Carmelo Anthony trade, having moved into the starting lineup upon the departure of Chauncey Billups. The Nuggets won seven of their first nine games following the deal, which also allowed them to acquire Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari and Timofey Mozgov from the Knicks.
Hornets.com: People around the NBA have obviously been impressed by the way the Nuggets have played since the much-discussed trade. Seemingly from the first game your new teammates were in the lineup, youve had excellent chemistry. Are you surprised by how quickly things have come together on the court?
Lawson: We all play the same way. Were all unselfish, like to shoot the three-pointer and get everybody involved. So no, Im not really surprised that everyone meshed together and everyone has played so well together. Everyone just wants to win. There are no ulterior motives. I think thats why were playing so well.
Hornets.com: The Nuggets have always been an up-tempo team in recent years, but a recent stat indicated that your team is No. 1 in the league in pace at 98 possessions per game since the trade. How much fun has it been for you to play this style?
Lawson: Its fun, because 98 possessions that means a lot of shots. [smiles] Everybody is happy to get shots, but were also playing D on the other side. Getting that many touches and that many shots up, everyones going to get a chance to score. Thats good for us and thats what we need.
Hornets.com: George Karl called you a future All-Star in a recent article. Is that a goal for you?
Lawson: Yes, its a goal. Everybody that plays in this league has a goal to be an All-Star. I think if I keep working hard, playing and learning, eventually I will get to that level. But Ive got to take everything seriously. Its going to take a little bit of time, but hopefully I can get to that level.
Hornets.com: Looking back, how much of a distraction were the constant questions about Carmelo Anthonys future before the trade? We know Melo was asked about it pretty much every day, but were you also getting questions about it on a daily basis?
Lawson: Not really. (And if we were asked) we all basically gave the same (answer) anyway. Wed say, Im not Melo. I cant tell you what he thinks. I would just tell (media) to go talk to Melo. It really wasnt a distraction for me. But around the organization, people probably thought something had to be done. I dont think it was a big distraction, though.
Hornets.com: You never specifically saw your name in trade rumors, correct?
Lawson: Right. Its a blessing, knowing that the team was behind you. I never was in the trade talk. I knew I had stability right here (with) Denver.
Hornets.com: Whats it like to have a fellow North Carolina Tar Heel as a head coach, as well as now a new teammate from UNC?
Lawson: Its cool. Youve got people to relate to as far as Carolina goes. You can tell with Coach Karl, he is in love with Carolina. Its fun to have he and Ray (Felton) on the team. We always talk and reminisce about the Carolina days.
Hornets.com: As a former NCAA Tournament standout and champion in 2009, whos your pick to win it all this year?
Lawson: [smiles] North Carolina. If they keep playing the way they are, theyre going to be able to make it deep in the tournament. Im always going with Carolina.
Hornets.com: Do you have any NCAA Tournament sleepers? Any teams out there capable of doing what Butler did in 2010?
Lawson: I dont think there are any teams out there like (Butler) this year, besides San Diego State, but everyone knows about them now so its a little different. I think Texas is going to make a nice run in the tournament. I like them.
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