Denver Nuggets: Why Ty Lawson Can Be the Star the Nuggets Need

Zach PughContributor IIIMay 11, 2012

DENVER, CO - MAY 10:  Ty Lawson #3 of the Denver Nuggets celebrates a three-point basket against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Six of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Pepsi Center on May 10, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

It has been discussed over and over this season: can the Denver Nuggets win a championship without a star?

When you look back at the NBA champions since 1980, you see that unfortunately for the Nuggets, every team has had a star. Take it a step further and every team not only had a star player, but a supporting cast with a couple other All-Stars.

There has been a lot of back-and-forth between Nuggets fans about who on this team can rise up and be that go-to player when the final shot is needed. The argument is, no one on this team has star quality. The criticism has been that they have a lot of good role players that could be nice pieces around a star, but no one can step up and consistently carry the team.

Prior to the start of the series against the LA Lakers, the question was, who is the key for Nuggets? Ty Lawson still remains the key during the playoff run and the future.

Ty Lawson has shown this season he has it in him to be the star the team needs to bring a championship to Denver.

During the regular season, Ty Lawson hit game-winning shots a few times, plus he was such a vital part to the run that took the Nuggets into the playoffs as the sixth seed. Look specifically at the game against Phoenix, when the Nuggets clinched a playoff berth. Lawson went 5-5 on three-pointers and had 29 points and 10 assists. Go back to the last game of the season against the Thunder, Lawson scored 25 points en route to a victory.

Now, look at this playoff series against the Lakers. Go back to Game 3 when Lawson scored 25 points; he was aggressive to the hoop, and the Nuggets of course won that game. So, Mike Brown made it a point to not let Lawson take control again in Game 4. Lawson only had 11 points, the Lakers contained him and would not let him take an open shot all night. Mike Brown was so concerned about Lawson, that he said he would put Kobe Bryant on him if he started hitting shots.

Isn’t that how you gameplan against a star?

If a player proves to have that much of an impact on a team at any point, then there is no excuse for why he can’t play at that level almost every night.

Ty Lawson is at his best when he uses his speed to drive to the hoop. When Lawson is aggressive, he takes control of the game and the team feeds off of him

Last night showed exactly how Lawson can be a nightmare for opposing teams. He was all over the court lunging for rebounds, batting balls away and scoring points.

His stat line was impressive. 32 points, six assists, five rebounds, one block and no turnovers. His 13 of 18 shooting was detrimental to the Lakers.

Once again Ty Lawson has been a key to the Nuggets come back to force a Game 7. The way he has shown he can take control of games shows he has what it takes to be the star the Nuggets need.