Is the Ty Lawson Era Already Over in Houston?
By Coty Davis
Oh how the mighty has fallen.
Four years ago Ty Lawson was easily a top-tier point guard in the league. In fact, If it was not for the unexpected rise of Stephen Curry and James Harden, Lawson may have some all-star selections under his name.
For six seasons with the Denver Nuggets Lawson was one of the most exciting players to watch. Standing at 5’11 and averaging 17.6 points, 8.8 assists, and 1.6 steals per game, it was nice to see a player play at a high level in the league who is not much bigger than the average person.
When the Houston Rockets acquired Lawson from the Nuggets this offseason, there was nothing but championship aspirations for Clutch City. Rockets fan thought they were going to witness their first elite point guard in Houston since the days of Steve Francis during the early 2000s. As well as the league’s best backcourt duo of Harden and Lawson.
However, as the 2015-16 season continues turning into a nightmare, so does the Lawson experience. In just 18 games, Lawson is having the worst season of his pro career averaging low numbers across the board. (7.3 points, 4.4 assists, 33 percent shooting from the field.)
Since J.B. Bickerstaff took over the team two weeks ago, Houston has seen less and less of Ty Lawson. Bickerstaff moved Lawson to the bench and replaced him with Jason Terry. A week later after Patrick Beverley had been cleared to play, Lawson has looked more like a third string point guard for the Rockets.
In the game against the Memphis Grizzlies last Wednesday, Lawson only played three minutes in the 102-92 lost. As well as receiving one DNP against the New York Knicks Sunday night.
It is obvious that Lawson has struggled to find his comfort in Houston. On the other hand his struggles are due to other members on the team unwilling to accommodate their game to his.
With Dwight Howard, the Rockets should implement more pick and roll in their offense, like Lawson’s days in Denver. Although they were not John Stockton and Karl Malone, the pick and roll offense was a success for Lawson and Kenneth Faried.
Just imagine how deadly the Rockets’ offense would have been if Howard and Lawson were able to work together more often. The only time this season fans were able to see Howard and Lawson work as a duo was in their 119-114 victory against the Orlando Magic.
Scoring 16 points, and 8 assists, this was easily Lawson’s best game as a Rocket. Over half of his assists went to Howard who had a season best 23 points in the win.
However, what made Lawson so effective in that game, the Rockets ran most of their offense through him. He is the type of point guard who needs to have the ball to create for his teammates.
This has been the Rockets biggest problem with Lawson this season. Houston have an all-star level point guard who averaged 9.6 assists last season, yet they still run their offense through James Harden.
Not taking anything away from Harden, he is one of the best players in the league. However, he is a SHOOTING GUARD for a reason. Ever wonder why Beverly has made a better backcourt mate for Harden? He does not demand the ball the way Lawson does as a player.
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Harden and Lawson should have made the best backcourt tandem in the league. They should have been the next Isiah Thomas and Joe Dumars. Not the next Allen Iverson and Eric Snow.
If the Rockets would allow Lawson to run their offense more, it would take a lot of unnecessary pressure off Harden. He would not have to score 40 or more points in order for the Rockets to win a game. Harden asked for a point guard after last season’s elimination for a reason.
As the season continues to unfold, it is sad to know that the Ty Lawson era could be over sooner than anyone expected. According to Bleacher Report, the Rockets are feeling out the rest of the league to see what it has to offer for a Lawson trade.
Regardless if they keep Lawson or not, hopefully their next move will be to start winning games again.
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