Is Ty Lawson Killing the Nuggets?

I was looking into individual plus/minus stats for the playoffs I was shocked what I saw on Ty Lawson. During the regular season Lawson was solid. When he was on the court the Nuggets outscored opponents by 5.47 points per 48 minutes and that dropped to 4.35 points when Lawson was off the court.

Ty Lawson Regular Season

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However, when you take a look at those same on/off splits during the first 4 games of the 1st round series against the Warriors Lawson’s plus/minus numbers have fallen off a cliff.

Ty Lawson Playoffs (Games 1-4)

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I expected Andre Miller to be a big part of the drop off for Lawson, but that’s not the case. Miller has been better than Lawson, but still has had a negative overall impact. The Warriors have had a lot of success with their small lineups (with Jarrett Jack, Stephen Curry, and Klay Thompson all on the court together). This may be due to the fact that the Nuggets have tried to fight small with small. Maybe the answer is to play big and use Andre Iguodala and Corey Brewer as the main guards. Iguodala can handle the ball and has ran the point at times before. Plus Brewer and Iguodala are both outstanding defenders so they should be able to chase Curry and Thompson around the 3 point line. Iguodala, Brewer, and especially Kenneth Faried have all had outstanding plus/minus numbers for the Nuggets this series. Going completely big vs. the Warriors small lineups would be a delicious contrast of styles, and it’s worth a shot with the Warriors up 3-1.

 

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About Bryan Povlinski

Bryan is a Manager of Business Intelligence and Analytics for a fulfillment company in Indianapolis by day and the founder of Spreadsheet-Sports.com by night. He is a graduate of Indiana University, and enjoys applying his passion for analytics to sports. His favorite sports teams are the Indiana Hoosiers, North Carolina Tar Heels, Indiana Pacers, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Indianapolis Colts. Contrary to popular opinion, he hates pizza and loves spreadsheets.
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