Ty Lawson has arrived. After shipping off Denver native Chauncey Billups to New York last February, the Nuggets saw a resurgence of both energy and speed to finish the season – ending as the fifth seed out West. At the helm of that spike was the 5-11 Lawson. He’s now resting comfortably in the Nuggets’ starting point guard slot and has taken the reigns of a suddenly refreshed squad.
In short since the trade, he hasn’t looked back. And in the Nuggets first round playoff exit to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Lawson dropped in averages to the tune of 15.6 points and 3.8 assists per game. That included a 27-point outburst in Game 4, Denver’s only win of the series.
He also lit up the Timberwolves in early-April with a 10-for-11 shooting night from behind the arc, a game where Lawson made an NBA-record first 10 triples. Not a bad value for a guy who somehow dropped to 18th in the 2009 NBA Draft, despite leading North Carolina to the top of the college hoop ranks the spring prior.
However you slice it, Lawson is making people in the Mile High City ache less and less about what could have been with the team’s past nucleus and yearn for what could be with him running the show. Now, with the lockout in full motion, Lawson isn’t ready to slow down the pace at all.
Between workouts, travel and sneaker hunting, the kid’s summer has been extremely busy so far. During July, that schedule included a stop back in Denver to introduce the first year of his new basketball camp; a project that also saw Lawson hand out six financial scholarships to local-area participants. In a large high school gymnasium far south of the Denver-metro boundary, a 150 kids went all-out for four days in front of their pro hero.
When you’re hanging with Lawson, you feel immediately welcomed. He’s extremely polite and seems genuinely happy to be making and cultivating new relationships with people. When fans wave, he waves back. The waitress comes to take his order, he makes sure everyone’s ready before he begins. It’s the little things like this that you take for granted so easily – but Lawson’s got it locked down. And the Colorado city a mile above sea level couldn’t be happier about it.
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