Hornets.com 1-on-1: Denver's Ty Lawson


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 Monday’s 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, you’ve had excellent chemistry. Are you surprised by how quickly things have come together on the court?
Lawson: We all play the same way. We’re all unselfish, like to shoot the three-pointer and get everybody involved. So no, I’m 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 that’s why we’re 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: It’s fun, because 98 possessions – that means a lot of shots. [smiles] Everybody is happy to get shots, but we’re also playing D on the other side. Getting that many touches and that many shots up, everyone’s going to get a chance to score. That’s good for us and that’s 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, it’s 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 I’ve got to take everything seriously. It’s 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 Anthony’s 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. We’d say, “I’m not Melo. I can’t tell you what he thinks.” I would just tell (media) to go talk to Melo. It really wasn’t a distraction for me. But around the organization, people probably thought something had to be done. I don’t think it was a big distraction, though.

Hornets.com: You never specifically saw your name in trade rumors, correct?
Lawson: Right. It’s 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: What’s it like to have a fellow North Carolina Tar Heel as a head coach, as well as now a new teammate from UNC?
Lawson: It’s cool. You’ve got people to relate to as far as Carolina goes. You can tell with Coach Karl, he is in love with Carolina. It’s 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, who’s your pick to win it all this year?
Lawson: [smiles] North Carolina. If they keep playing the way they are, they’re going to be able to make it deep in the tournament. I’m 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 don’t think there are any teams out there like (Butler) this year, besides San Diego State, but everyone knows about them now so it’s a little different. I think Texas is going to make a nice run in the tournament. I like them.


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