Carolina March has a nice rundown on the latest word from the NBA experts and so-called experts. According to CM, if you are a numbers guy like ESPN's John Hollinger you are impressed beyond words with Ty Lawson. If you have no use for numbers and are simply throwing pasta at the wall to see what sticks like ESPN's Chad Ford then your opinion of Lawson is on the lower end. CM attempts to deconstruct the issues folks have with Lawson:
The biggest knocks against Lawson seem to be a) his size, and b) that his stats are inflated by playing amongst the talent at UNC at the speed they run at. The first is somewhat valid, but doesn't explain the draft watchers' love of Johnny Flynn, who is also 6'0", and posted significantly worse numbers for the Orangemen this year as a sophomore. The second objection, to anyone who watched a lot of UNC games this year, is pretty ridiculous. Playing with the offensive threats he did may have inflated his shooting percentage and added the occasional assist, but where Lawson really draws attention to himself is his lack of turnovers. His ridiculously low number compared to other point guards on that score came despite the breakneck pace he and the Tar Heels were running at, a tempo that would lead you to expect more turnovers, as they have less of a deleterious effect on your team's chances. That, factored in with Lawson's speed and strength, makes him a better prospect than a lot of people are considering at this point, and definitely more likely to succeed than similarly sized guards like Flynn and Darren Collison.
I do not understand the love of all things Johnny Flynn. Heck, maybe the best draft advice you can give a player is to do everything on both ends during a six OT game at Madison Square Garden versus a top five opponent. That kind of performance is apparently enough to elevate you beyond what seems statistically appropriate. I concur with CM on the criticism that Lawson's numbers are inflated because of the talent he had around him. This confuses me because the last I check, won't Lawson be surrounded by talent in the NBA? I was under the impression that Lawson was being drafted to run a team's offense and score when needed not be the entire offense by himself. Besides that, is it not a better guage of a player's performance in college to see him play with NBA caliber teammates versus say Stephen Curry who did everything himself against a weaker schedule? CM also astutely points out that the turnover numbers are the key. The fact Lawson posted a three plus A/TO ratio playing at a 90 ppg pace is impressive and should give him an edge of guys like Flynn.
In many ways I feel bad for Lawson who did everything right during his junior season. He play his best season of college basketball, won ACC POY, the Cousy Award, probably should have won the Final Four MOP(no offense Wayne Ellington) and walked away with a ring. Lawson did everything people in the know say you should do to raise your stock and it appears right now that has not been the case. Hopefully it turns out differently in two days.