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NBA AM: Ty Lawson Believes in Brian Shaw
Posted By Joel Brigham On July 19, 2013 @ 8:00 am In NBA Summer League | No Comments
HOOPSWORLD catches up with Ty Lawson at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.Watch More Video Here
Ty Lawson Doesn’t See A Drop-Off for Nuggets
There are a lot of people that credit the massive overhaul in Denver as the reason the Nuggets lost Andre Iguodala to the Golden State Warriors in free agency, but despite all those changes there’s no doubting the fact that new Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw is one of the most exciting young coaching prospects in the league.
“Brian Shaw is a good dude,” Lawson said while observing the Nuggets’ Summer League team in Las Vegas. “I know everybody has been saying that, but I actually talked to him for about two hours and just got to know him a little bit, and I’m excited. He’s a player’s coach and he knows what he’s talking about.”
One of the things the point guard discussed with his new coach was what to expect in terms of the system that will be put in place. George Karl’s Nuggets ran an up-tempo offense that worked to Lawson’s strengths, and it sounds like Lawson will still have plenty of opportunities to keep things moving quickly under Shaw.
“We’re still going to run, but our halfcourt offense I think will be more crisp, and we’re going to know exactly what the we want from the offense,” Lawson said. “That’s what [Shaw] has been stressing to me. Just better half-court offense, and we’re going to pick it up on the defensive end.”
Of course, there are some that wonder if losing Karl, Iguodala and last season’s NBA Executive of the Year Masai Ujiri will kill the momentum this talented young core built last season by clinching homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs, but Lawson doesn’t think that will be the case.
“I think our potential is still the same; we can be as good as we want to be,” Lawson said, adding that several of the team’s young players look poised to make a big jump next season, first and foremost JaVale McGee.
“I think JaVale McGee is ready to step up in the starting role,” he said. “Everybody thinks he’s a clown, but he’s not like that. He’s going to show everyone that he is a decent big man and can be one of the best in the league.”
Lawson also likes the look of many of the young players that participated in Summer League this year.
“They’re developing real well,” he said. “You see Jordan Hamilton finally shook the rust off and had a good game, Evan Fournier looks a little more seasoned, and Quincy Miller I think can take his game to the next level.”
Denver will need some of those players to step up if they hope to repeat next season’s success, but players like Lawson and Kenneth Faried taking their game to another level certainly wouldn’t hurt, either.
They may not be the same team they were a year ago, but their starting point guard feels pretty confident that can have the same kind of success.
Monty Williams Looks to Helm A More Mature New Orleans Squad
Say what you want about the risky moves the New Orleans Pelicans made this offseason, there’s very little question that they’re a better team in 2013-14 than they were the season before. Not only will they be getting back a healthy Eric Gordon, but they also revamped their backcourt by adding Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans. Plus, Anthony Davis will be a year older and Ryan Anderson should still be among the best three-point shooters in the league.
“We can teach what we do as opposed to just teaching the game. We spent a lot of time teaching guys how to play basketball, certain things that they should’ve learned in high school and college they didn’t know,” Williams said of his players last season. “I don’t think we need to do that as much as we did before. I think now we can teach how we play; we can teach situations. We’re going to be coaching more than teaching which is what the really good teams do. They coach as opposed to teaching because most of their players are reacting naturally to the game and their situation.”
It will be nice that players like Davis, Austin Rivers, Darius Miller and Brian Roberts are going to be entering their second years in the league. Rather than having nearly a third of the roster in their rookie season, the Pelicans will have stronger, smarter, more experienced young players populating their roster.
“[The second-year players] are going to be a lot better because they’re used to the grind,” Williams said. “But it’s not just going to happen because we’re talking about it. We have to be diligent in our work and preparation. Just because you show up in your second year doesn’t mean that you’re going to be better.
“Anthony [Davis] is proving to me to be more than capable of the next step because he’s been in our gym every week since the season’s been over. He’s gotten a lot stronger. Austin [Rivers] has gotten a lot stronger, he’s gotten more comfortable on the floor.”
Having more experienced youngsters doesn’t change the fact that the Pelicans do have several new players at key positions, so there will be a bit of an adjustment period for the team as they all learn to play with each other.
“We have some guys that are really talented, but they don’t know how we play,” Williams said. “That’s going to take some time and I’ve got to learn how they play on a day-in, day-out basis.”
More importantly, though, Williams doesn’t feel like the level of talent on his roster is on par with some of the more loaded teams in the league. Assuming he’s right, that means the Pelicans will have to work that much harder to contend with the NBA’s big dogs.
“Obviously when you haven’t established yourself as a premier team in this league—and I’m certainly not a premier coach—I’ve got to work at it. Players have adopted that because I talk about it all the time. Coaches talk about it, [Pelicans GM] Dell [Demps] talks about it, the owner Tom Benson talks about it. We don’t have elite-level players on this team; we have guys that are really good. We have to work at it as a unit to be good, and we are going to be good here soon.”
Williams seems to have a firm grasp on how to approach this upcoming season with what should be a much-improved Pelicans team, but however good the team may be on paper, they’ve got a long ways to go before the rest of the league takes them seriously.
“We have a great training camp coming up in a new facility and so many things to look forward to, but it’s going to take a lot of work, a lot sweat, and a lot of ability to prepare yourself to grind it out in a tough Western Conference.”
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