Editor’s note: This is a guess post from Ryan Brennan of FantasyBasketballMoneyLeagues.com. For more updates, follow the Fantasy Basketball Money Leagues Google+ Page, and for more Denver Nuggets analysis visit Fantasy Basketball Money Leagues, a fantasy basketball blog.
Which Member of the Denver Nuggets Has the Most Upside Moving Forward?
The Denver Nuggets haven’t exactly had the season they were hoping for. Bothered by multiple injuries that have been setting them back, they are far behind from making the playoffs. Currently they stand in fourth place in the Northwest Division and eleventh in the Western Conference. Their 27-36 record has them 10 games behind Memphis for eighth place, which would bring them into the playoffs. With 19 games left on their schedule, that would be very hard to reach the playoffs.
Aside from their efforts as a team, they still have a decent roster with great players. The Nuggets just haven’t done a good job of winning. One man has carried the team and led the team in points, assists, steals, player efficiency rating and field goals made per game. He is their team leader, leading their offense in the point guard position. Ty Lawson has had a great season both offensively and defensively. He has emerged as their top player and should continue to build around him.
On the season, Ty Lawson has managed to rack up an average of 18.6 points per game. That number is 4.6 points higher than his career average, taking it upon himself to step up as Denver’s scoring leader. Before his injury, which occurred against the Detroit Pistons on February 8th, he was scoring very well. He had 19 games of scoring 20 or more points, with none of 30 or over. In November, he averaged 21.0 points per game. In December, he averaged 14.2 points per game. In January, he averaged 18.2 points per game. Lastly, in the four games he played in February before going down with injury, he averaged 18.8 points per game.
He returned to play on March 3rd against the Minnesota Timberwolves. He has played five games since and has played stellar basketball. In the game against the Timberwolves, he scored a season-high 31 points on 11-16 field goals. In the next game against the Mavericks, he scored 20. Succeeding that, he marked his second 30-point game against the Lakers, scoring 30 points. In the last two games, he has scored 15 points and 24 points against the Pelicans and the Bobcats respectively. So far in March, he has averaged 24.0 points per game (5.4 points higher than his season average).
Ty Lawson has picked up his scoring game dramatically ever since returning from injury. He has been the scorer on his team and continues to prove to be their top asset.
On the season, Lawson has averaged 9.0 assists per game, which puts him as the third best passer in the league. He has proven that he is not only the best passer on his team, but one of the top in the league. In November, he averaged 8.4 assists per game. In December, he averaged 7.4 assists per game. In January, he passed the ball extremely well, averaging 11.1 assists per game. In the four games he played in February, he averaged 7.8 assists per game. In the 50 games he played this season so far, he has racked up 22 games of 10 assists or more. In addition, he had a 17-assist game against Houston on November 16th and against the Lakers on March 7th.
Much like his scoring, ever since returning from injury on March 3rd, Lawson has passed extremely well. Averaging 10.6 assists in the five games he played since returning, he has been the facilitator of his team’s offense. He tallied 11 assists, 17 assists and 12 assists against the Timberwolves, Lakers and Pelicans respectively. He also had a 7-assist game and a 6-assist game against Dallas and Charlotte respectively.
Game in and game out, he has brought his passing skills to the court. Mentioned before, he is the third best passer in the league and that doesn’t come to just any player. He has worked hard to get his teammates in the game and has done his part as a point guard to lead his team’s offense. Also mentioned before, this is just another reason that he has remained the team’s biggest asset on the roster.
Ty Lawson has averaged 1.5 steals per game this season. He has been consistently on the prowl defensively throughout his career and has continued that prowl this year. There’s not much to say with this stat other than the fact that he is just great at reading his opponent and quick with his hands. In the 50 games he has played this season, he has 11 games where he tallied 3 or more steals (2 of those being 4 steals) He also only has 11 games where he has recorded no steals, meaning he has recorded a steal in 39 of his 50 games played. That’s what I call consistency on the defensive end.
Stealing and causing turnovers could be the difference between a win and a loss. It helps your team out in a big way. It stops your opponent’s offensive possession and puts your team at a chance to score. Ty Lawson is always finding ways to give his team a win. This is just one more of those ways.
Player Efficiency Rating
This statistic is rather new to the league. A lot of people don’t know exactly what it means. The statistic is based on per-minute productivity and is pace-adjusted. It allows to compare the productivity of players that don’t play the same amount of minutes. To have the highest PER on your team shows that you do the most for your team in the minutes you are given. Ty Lawson holds that place on the Denver Nuggets.
The PER includes positive accomplishments, such as: field goals, free throws, 3-pointers, assists, rebounds, blocks and steals. It also includes negative accomplishments, such as: missed shots, turnovers and personal fouls. The league average in PER is 15.00 every season, which Lawson has soared above with his 20.27 rating. An incredible stat for an incredible player.
The Denver Nuggets have a great roster, but I think it’s pretty clear who the leader of this team is. Ty Lawson has had a great career with the Nuggets and is continuing his presence this season. His play has been stellar and it doesn’t seem as if that will stop anytime soon. Congratulations to him on a great season so far and good luck with the remaining games.