Denver is going to surprise people this season, they are healthy again (Danilo Gallinari and JaVale McGee are back) plus they added a great fit in Arron Afflalo. This team won 57 games two years ago and while it’s not likely they reach that total they are a threat to make the playoffs in a deep, deep Western Conference.
That needs to happen if Ty Lawson is going to reach his goals.
He wants to get mentioned among the top point guards in the NBA, up there with Chris Paul and Tony Parker and the rest of a deep group. That’s what he told the Denver Post in a Q&A.
Q: What do you need to do to get to that next level?
A: I feel like we have to win — because I feel like my numbers are elite numbers, what I did last year. The only thing separating me from everyone else is just winning. Chris Paul has gotten out of the second round. Russell Westbrook went to the NBA Finals. I feel like to get to that level, you’ve got to win games. Kyrie (Irving) this year, he’s going to get out of the first and second round. So that’s the goal.
Q: You mentioned Paul, Westbrook and Irving. Do you see yourself in that group as an elite point guard?
A: I do, minus just the winning. Especially for a point guard, that takes you to the next level. If you’re a point guard and you’re not winning but you’re killing it, it doesn’t matter. It’s a leadership role.
(For the record, CP3 has never gotten out of the second round.)
Lawson is always overlooked in that elite conversation despite averaging 17.6 points a game with an above average true shooting percentage of .554 plus dishing out 8.8 assists a game last season. He had a PER of 19, which was better than Parker or Damian Lillard or Deron Williams.
Is he a better point guard than those guys? It’s certainly debatable (hard to justify saying he’s better than Parker).
But Lawson does deserve to be mentioned among the game’s better point guards, he brings a lot to the table in terms of scoring and running a team.
He’s aoso right, if the Nuggets win this season he will be get the recognition as a team leader. And the Nuggets will win this year, the question is will they win enough.