*More than usual, this post is heavily statistical. If you have a deep and abiding interest in the Denver Nuggets, Ty Lawson, Chauncey Billups, statistics, or anything I have to say in general, then I would encourage you to read on. If none of these interests apply, you might find this to be kind of a snooze.
Through a certain friendship, I’ve become well-acquainted with Denver sports over the years. The Nuggets, Broncos, and Rockies have joined teams like the Louisville Cardinals, Tennessee Titans, and Atlanta Braves in the group of teams that I’ve developed a small rooting interest in because of intra-national friendships. And because my Denverite friend lives right here in New York, I often find myself discussing the Coloradan sports scene. Past topics have included Jay Cutler’s petulance (go ‘Dores!), Josh McDaniels’ incredible ability to alienate, and the Matt Holliday and Allen Iverson trades. I can’t believe I have a strong opinion about each of those items, but I do.
Just recently, however, the Nuggets’ swoon has been a hot topic. That it has coincided with starting point guard Chauncey Billups’ injury has added an interesting element to our conversations, primarily because of our differing assessments of Billups’ ability. I asserted (with some vague knowledge of the pertinent stats) that the drop-off from Billups to rookie backup Ty Lawson isn’t as significant as many might think. He asserted, quite understandably, that Billups is the experienced caretaker of the offense, the team’s leader, and oh yeah, he’s still a pretty good player. Us being us, we proceeded to argue this point at length on several occasions. And me being me, I’ve hit the internet for some evidence that would either support or refute my claim. After some research, I’ve more or less decided that – at worst – Billups and Lawson are equally effective, and that it’s more likely that Lawson holds a slight edge. Read the rest of this entry »