Ty Lawson 2016 Season Review

Pacers guard Ty Lawson shares his thoughts on his time with the Pacers this season and talks about his upcoming offseason.

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Ty Lawson 2016 Season Review

Pacers guard Ty Lawson shares his thoughts on his time with the Pacers this season and talks about his upcoming offseason.
May 13, 2016  |  01:41

Ty Lawson 2015-16 Season Highlights

Check out these top plays from Pacers guard Ty Lawson from the 2015-16 season.
May 13, 2016  |  02:49

Player Review 2016: Ty Lawson

by Mark Montieth
Pacers.com Writer

Age: 28
Years pro: 7
Status: Unrestricted free agent.
Key stats: Averaged 5.3 points, 4.6 assists and 1.1 turnovers in final 12 games of the regular season, then 2.3 points, 1.4 assists and 0.9 turnovers in 10.5 minutes per game in the playoffs.

A year ago at this time Ty Lawson was living in Colorado, a near All-Star caliber point guard for the Denver Nuggets. Now, he lives in a state of flux.

Lawson was acquired by the Pacers in March after he was released by Houston, and for most of the regular reason looked like a great pickup who could make a difference in the playoffs. He didn't, but one should be careful not to jump to too great of a conclusion from that. A broader overview is in order.

Let's start with his Pacers career. He sprained his left foot five minutes into his first appearance with them on March 7 against San Antonio after he made a couple of impressive assists, and sat out the next five games.

GALLERY: Ty Lawson's Season in Photos »

He then played the final 12 regular season games and provided a virtual breath of fresh air – a genuine point guard who had the quickness to get into the foul lane and the vision and passing ability to do something good once he got there. He averaged 5.3 points and 4.6 assists against just 1.1 turnovers in that stretch, and closed the season with a combined 24 points, 23 assists and six turnovers over the final three games.

He seemingly gave the Pacers a bench unit nearly equal to Toronto's as the generator of an uptempo spread-the-court second unit that provided coach Frank Vogel with versatility. But it didn't work out in the playoffs. Lawson averaged 2.3 points on 33 percent shooting over 10.5 minutes per game, along with 1.4 assists and 0.9 turnovers. The bench unit was disrupted when Myles Turner was promoted to the starting lineup after three games, and C.J. Miles' shooting woes had a ripple effect that contributed to Lawson's drop-off in production.

So, what do you with a guy like this?

Lawson averaged 15.2 points, 9.6 assists and 2.5 turnovers in his final season with the Nuggets. He was a poor fit in Houston, as nearly anyone would be if paired in the backcourt with James Harden, so the fact he was released there shouldn't weigh too heavily in evaluations. He didn't perform well with the Pacers in the playoffs, but that was a relatively short-term run in which he played with teammates he still hadn't grown accustomed to.

Lawson will be 29 shortly after next season opens, so he should have a few years left at a near-peak level. He has a solid six-year track record in Denver, where he was regarded as one of the better points guards in the league, a player many Pacers fans wish had been drafted instead of Tyler Hanbrough in 2009. Teams will have to decide whether that takes precedence over his failed experiment with the Rockets and his seven playoff games with the Pacers.

Most people seem to believe the Pacers need a "true" point guard. Lawson is one. He has the well-publicized issue of receiving two DUIs while in Denver, but appears to have handled that situation. He's quiet by nature, so it's difficult to determine the quality of his leadership on a short-term basis as a backup point guard. But his skill set is obvious, and he performed well in the playoffs with Denver.

For Lawson, an interesting summer awaits.

Have a question for Mark? Want it to be on Pacers.com? Email him at askmontieth@gmail.com and you could be featured in his next mailbag.

Note: The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Indiana Pacers. All opinions expressed by Mark Montieth are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Indiana Pacers, their partners, or sponsors.

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