Mar 5, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson (3) passes the ball to power forward J.J. Hickson (7) against Dallas Mavericks power forward Brandan Wright (34) and point guard Shane Larkin (3) in the second quarter at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Denver Nuggets: The Ty Lawson Effect


He’s 5’11 and 195 pounds. He’s a 26-year-old wearing the No. 3, and his return from injury was exactly what the Denver Nuggets needed.

Welcome back Ty Lawson! Nuggets nation missed you tremendously and so did your teammates.

Mar 5, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson (3) passes the ball to power forward J.J. Hickson (7) against Dallas Mavericks power forward Brandan Wright (34) and point guard Shane Larkin (3) in the second quarter at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Since Ty Lawson’s return from the rib injury that sidelined him nine games, the Nuggets are averaging 121.5 points a game. During his absence? The team only managed to score 93.6 points a game. That is a 28 point increase in points per game! That, ladies and gentleman, is called the Ty Lawson effect.

Oh, and they actually won a game since he came back and winning always feels good. Yes, I know there have only been two games since Ty Lawson’s return. And yes, I know the team was playing without a true point guard the majority of the time when he was out. But a 28-point increase in points per game from one player is crazy. And it should last for the Nuggets to some affect.

Lawson allows for the Nuggets games to be exciting to watch. He’s the piece that completes the “high-scoring athletic team” puzzle, and Denver is lucky to have him. It’s a common perception in the NBA that good players have great games consistently year in and year out. However, the great players elevate their teammates to have great games with them.

And Ty Lawson is a great player by that measurement.

Wilson Chandler averaged 11.3 points, 1.8 assists and 4.5 rebounds a game during Lawson’s injury. Since Lawson’s return? Chandler is averaging 23 points, 1.5 assists and 7.5 rebounds. And it’s not just Wilson Chandler who gets better when Lawson is playing. Kenneth Faried is netting 5.2 more points a game and 1.1 more rebounds. Randy Foye? 3.8 more points and 1.6 more rebounds. Even Darrell Arthur is averaging 3.0 more points and 1.2 more rebounds.

Maybe no stat says more about how Lawson elevates his teammates’ play than this one: During his injury the Nuggets only had ONE player (Quincy Miller) with a positive plus/minus. Since Lawson’s return the Nuggets have four players with a positive plus/minus – and Lawson isn’t one of them.

It’s also a bit crazy I’m this far into my Ty Lawson love letter and I haven’t even mentioned that he is putting up some smooth numbers himself. In his two games back, he’s averaging 25.5 points, nine assists, five rebounds, and three steals a game. Now, Lawson may never make the All-Star game in the loaded Western Conference. He may never make an All-NBA first team as the point guard of the year. He’ll probably struggle to ever make Third Team All-NBA.

But if we weren’t positive the Nuggets found their franchise point guard for the next four years before this injury, we can be positive now. It was a ROUGH go for Nuggets fans experiencing those nine games without Lawson. It was practically unbearable to watch. But along with his teammates, Lawson elevated the game itself. It’s actually fun to watch again.

And that, ladies and gentleman is the true Ty Lawson effect.

Tags: Darrell Arthur Denver Nuggets Kenneth Faried Randy Foye Ty Lawson Wilson Chandler