Pacers "Ty" up Some Loose Ends
*Photo via Pacer Press
The Indiana Pacers stood pat at the trade deadline due to not having many assets available to trade. Unlike prior seasons, most moves in general this year were the result of a buyout, not a player being dealt. The Pacers joined this buyout frenzy by first buying out Chase Budinger and then signing veteran point guard, Ty Lawson; who was bought out by the Houston Rockets.
Lawson is having the worst year of his professional career, averaging just five points per game and three assists. A main source for this drop in production was the situation down in Houston. Lawson who spent his first six years in Denver, is use to running the show and being the primary ball-handler. In Houston that’s not a great fit, James Harden’s success in recent years is greatly associated with how much the ball is in his hands. See the problem?
*Photo via Getty Images
Now when playing the blame game, there’s not only one culprit. Lawson himself is not innocent in all of this, a couple of DUI charges, being out of shape, and seemingly losing his ability to shoot are all on the player himself. So now you’re wondering, well why did Larry Bird and the Pacers sign him?
Several reasons contributed to the Pacers interest and then signing of Lawson. Added depth, the Pacers second unit in particular has been banged up much of the season. Rodney Stuckey and Cj Miles are key role players, unfortunately they’ve played very little together this year as both have missed substantial time due to injury. Miles has missed 15 games and is still currently out with a calf injury, and Stuckey has missed 24 games due to a variety of injuries, the latest being a foot injury. Rookie Joe Young has played very well in stretches, however, he’s only a rookie and no where near the quality ball-handler as Lawson. Lawson gives the bench a true point guard, and one can only assume if Lawson started to show signs of improvement, minutes in with the first unit would be ideal. The Pacers have George Hill and Monta Ellis, however both aren’t necessarily the ideal primary ball-handling guards for a team.
Furthermore, there isn’t much to lose in this current situation for the Pacers. For starters he’s only signed till the end of the year, so if this experiment blows up, both sides walk away. Lawson has already said how this offense is very similar to the one he ran in Denver under Brian Shaw. That’s an encouraging thing to hear since those were arguably two of Lawson's best all-around seasons. The hope for the Pacers is the Lawson from Denver who averaged above 15 points per game and dished out around 7 assists per game returns. Ty Lawson needed a change of scenery and Indiana may just be the right place.