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How does Ty Lawson compare to Chris Paul?

Denver Nuggets guard Ty Lawson celebrates a three-point shot in their NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Denver April 9, 2011. REUTERS/Rick Wilking (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

Whenever I see Ty Lawson play, I think of Chris Paul. The two players have different games, but physically, they’re similar. Paul stands 6’0″ and weighs 175 pounds. Lawson is 5’11″ and weighs in at 195 pounds, so he’s a little stockier than CP3, but they’re both fairly undersized for the point guard position.

Here are the per 48-minute stats from each player’s rookie and second season. Since Paul played about 16 minutes more per game in his rookie season (and 10+ minutes more in his sophomore season), we need to adjust per minute for an apples-to-apples comparison.

ROOKIE SEASON

FGM FGA FG% 3PM 3PA 3P% FTM FTA FT% REB AST STL TO PTS EFF
Paul 6.9 16.1 .430 0.8 3.1 .282 6.8 8.0 .847 6.8 10.4 2.9 3.1 21.5 28.1
Lawson 7.4 14.3 .515 1.2 3.1 .410 3.8 5.2 .757 4.5 7.4 1.7 3.1 19.7 21.9

SECOND SEASON

FGM FGA FG% 3PM 3PA 3P% FTM FTA FT% REB AST STL TO PTS EFF
Paul 7.8 17.7 .437 1.0 2.9 .350 6.0 7.3 .818 5.6 11.6 2.3 3.3 22.6 27.7
Lawson 7.8 15.7 .503 1.6 3.8 .404 3.8 5.1 .764 4.7 8.6 1.8 3.1 21.4 24.3

(Note: Blocks are negligible so I excluded them to save space.)

It’s clear from Paul’s assist numbers that he’s the superior playmaker. He averaged 3.0 more assists per 48 minutes than Lawson. But Lawson is a far more efficient scorer, making over 50% of his shots in his first two seasons. This is helped by his excellent three-point shooting, which is over 40% for his career. Paul is quite a bit better at getting to the line and makes a higher percentage when he gets there.

From an overall efficiency standpoint, Paul actually regressed a tad in his sophomore season, while Lawson improved about 11%.

Ty Lawson is no Chris Paul, mostly because he doesn’t have the pure point guard mentality that Paul does. But he’s a fine player, and is superior to Paul with his efficient shooting and scoring. Paul does a better job of changing gears, while Lawson seems to be going 100 mph all the time. It will be interesting to see how his game develops over the next two seasons as he matures as a starting point guard.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @TheScoresReport. You can also follow TSR editor Gerardo Orlando @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom, and you can follow TSR editor Anthony Stalter @AnthonyStalter.

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