With hits such as, "A Hazy shade of Lawson", and Miller's sentimental "Homeward Bound" (his house you see, is in Denver, even while playing in Portland) One can expect for this year's pointguard duo to be one of the most contrasting, contradicting and solid point guard duo's in the league.
I am going to look at each position, bench and starter and look, in my opinion to whom I believe should start and how I think they will look like on the court, and how I believe George Karl should implement these players to their strength, again this is just my fan opinion so I don't think it holds much grain, but I believe that I want to share them anyway. I'll post a different post every day before the season starts.
Point Guard- Ty Lawson / Andre Miller
I think the one question that many have on their mind is, can Ty Lawson and Andre Miller co-exist in this offense? Is this an improvement over Ty Lawson with Raymond Felton?
Look at Lawson, the basketball equivalence to a cheetah, he pushes the opposing team to react to his athletic ability, and forces the tempo in a way that becomes less and less reckless every year he is in the league. He enjoys slashing through a defense that is trying to set, and see if he can lay it in or distract the defense just enough to kick it out to a Nuggets shooter coming down the court for an open 3, and with three great three point shooters in Danilo Gallinari, Afflalo and now our newest edition, Rudy Fernandez coming down the court with Lawson kicking it out to them, the three point shots will hit early and often.
Rudy's three point percentage is 0.364% which is just above average in the NBA, and the other two mentioned players shoot over 40% from behind the arch, scary thought for the opposing team. I believe Lawson showed himself to be a top 10 player in glimpses last year, and his rebounding ability for a short guard is underrated. Another aspect of his game besides speed and athletic ability is his shooting touch. Infamous last year for shooting 10 three pointers in a row, and hitting 40% from three point land, he himself is a threat from downtown.
On the other hand, there sits Andre Miller, one of the favorite players Karl has ever coached—a true quarterback of any basketball team's offense, able to bring the ball up the court reliably every time. Shooting around 45% from the field, his ability to post up smaller guards is infamous, and despite his odd shooting form and inability to hit three pointers, he is a reliable option on offense. He is also well known as being the best lob passer in the NBA, not a great asset to have on a team with an nonathletic front-court, invaluable with an athletic front-court which is just what the Nuggets have. Kenneth Faried, despite his lack of height, standing at perhaps 6'7 with shoes on was known as a very athletic player in college, grabbing 14.5 rebounds in his final year. He is one of the top NBA-ready players coming out of the draft. Kosta Koufos also should benefit from Millers lob-a-thon along with a healthy Chris Anderson, who hopefully has his wings in tip top shape. Miller is a master at spreading the ball, It's why Marcus Camby scored so many points in Denver, because Miller knew how to get him the rock at the right time.
The point is, while both Miller and Lawson may be unhappy at times depending on who is the starter, having both on the team is a plus because the two are like the yin and yang of point guards.If Lawson is playing too erratically, Karl will bring in Miller to slow the pace and play efficient basketball. And if Miller's tempo is too slow, Karl can put in Lawson to push the pace and score transition buckets.Not only will Andre Miller and Ty Lawson co-exist on the Nuggets, they will prosper while pushing Denver to a competitive level.
Now the PER stat line is to me, is most important when you compare point guards because they have the ball more than any other positions usually. Ironically, Andre Miller's PER rating was at 17.89, making him the 13th best among point guards in the league, while Lawsons 17.99 PER was just enough to put him at the 12th highest, having their PER rating be very similar last year. This makes this years point guard duo the most consistent and one of the best duo's in the NBA, maybe the best overall, unless the Clippers utilize Billups as a backup point guard. Andre Millers assist ratio of 32.6% was good enough for the 10th best last year, while Lawsons was just as good as John Wall last year, at 29%. I expect under Miller's mentoring, Lawson should improve this stat line further this year.
Overall, I think we should expect our point guard duo to never stall our offense, this is a very strong advantage in a shortened season. I believe the contrasted mixture between speed and athletic ability vs craftiness and a much better half-court player in Andre MIller will be invaluable when we make the playoffs as opposed to more of the same in speed, speed, speed as OKC took advantage of last year.
Andre Miller has always been a solid defender, and with his height at 6'3, and George Karl's love for two point guard's at the end of the game he will make a much better duo with Lawson while both are on the court. Miller has enough height and bulk to defend most shooting guards. Before? that was not so with the tinier non-lankiness of Raymond Felton. I expect Karl to implement this strategy at the end of the game often so having a point guard more suitable for this strategy is diffidence. Andre Millers passing game is also a much needed aspect to this Denver team, he has had at least 400 assists every season in the league and I don't expect that to change this year as well which brings us to his durability, he has played in at least 80 games every season of his career, and when you can play 80+ games a year in a Portland Trailblazer uniform, you know you are dependable.
So, overall I believe that this point guard duo all together is a B+, worthy of being in the upper echelon of the league.
In the comment section, I want to hear your thoughts on who should be the starter for this year and why in strong detail, also what is your opinion of 2 point guards in the lineup? Do you think it should be allowed at all this year?