Denver Nuggets: 5 Positions, 5 words: Point Guard

A hectic 2011-2012 season is now in the books, and it's time to look at the Denver Nuggets in regards to the future. We are going to assign one word to each position that will sum things up.

We will begin the series with the point guard position. And the word is... (drum roll please)


So maybe that wasn't the most creative start to the series, and I can guarantee a little less predictability with the other positions. But hear me out on this one.

Ty Lawson really is the present and the future at the point guard position. Of course there is Andre Miller backing him up. But there will be more on him later.

[caption id="attachment_306" align="alignright" width="218" caption="Lawson is among the quickest players in the NBA and showed a lot of growth down the final stretch of the season. Source:"][/caption]

Throughout the year there had been numerous reports of George Karl encouraging Lawson to be more aggressive. There had been times it appeared Lawson was taking that advice to heart, but there were just as many times where Lawson seemed complacent with slowing the tempo down, or dishing it off to a teammate when the better option was to attack. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against passing at all. But Lawson's superior quickness allows him to get into the paint at will, and there were too many times where he failed to be aggressive.

Alright, those are the only negative things I have to say about Lawson. Because especially towards the end of the season and in the playoffs, he was phenomenal. Lawson ended the season with career highs in points per game (16.6) and assists per game(6.6). Lawson led the Nuggets in points per game and was second in assists per game to Miller by one tenth of an assist.

But was more impressive was what Lawson did in the playoffs. Lawson scored over 20 points in four of the seven games, including a 32-point outing in Game 6. Lawson averaged six assists per game, shot over 50% from the field and averaged only 1.1 turnovers per game. The turnovers are particularly impressive considering the up-tempo style Denver plays with.

Lawson is only 24, which means he still has a couple years before he even enters the prime of his career. Lawson has a great work ethic, and if he can become a consistent threat from behind the 3-point line, he certainly has the potential to become an elite point guard.

[caption id="attachment_307" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Miller has shown flashes of greatness in Denver, but he has also shown dissatisfaction with his role as a backup. Source: Boston Herald"][/caption]

This brings us to Miller.  The 36-year-old showed flashes of brilliance this season, but there were times where he seemed unwilling to pass. This is unfortunate because passing is by far Miller's best ability. Miller has one of the best post up games for a guard, but he just isn't the scoring threat that he used to be. With all that being said, Miller did seem to come to terms with his role at the end of the season. This will make for an interesting decision this off-season considering Miller is an unrestricted free agent. Karl loves Miller. There is no doubt about it. But it seems that the Nuggets and Miller really aren't that great of a match.

Miller wants to start for a championship contender. Denver can't offer him a starting job because that position has been filled by Lawson. And to be perfectly honest, barring a drastic move, the Nuggets will not be a title contender next year. So that puts both sides in a bit of a hard spot. I can still see Miller resigning with Denver, and I'm not saying it would be a terrible thing for Denver to resign him, especially if they can get a good price. But at the end of the day, the position belongs to Lawson.

Julyan Stone also received some time at point guard. The rookie out of UTEP is still a work in progress on the offensive end, but is a fantastic defender.

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